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Our Own Country 

Its History and Achievements 


Story of Our Great Men ^ Women 






and Others. 

A Great Cyclopaedia of American History. 

Embellished with over Two Hundred New Engravings by the best American Artists, 

illustrating that which is best, noblest, most interesting and 

inspiring in the history of the land we live in. 


Formerly L. P. MILLER & CO.. 


Copyright, 1895, by W. E. Sculi. 
all rights reserved. 




T is four hundred years since Columbus caught his first gHmpse 
of the western world, but it is only two hundred and seventy five 
years since the work of making this continent habitable began. 
From Jamestown and from Plymouth the streams of exploration 
and colonization flow steadily westward and southward, gathering 
volume and momentum until they unite the great oceans and cover 
the continent. The story of this vast unfolding of life under new 
conditions is told in this volume by different pens, but with one 
controlling idea — to show how and by what means a great nation grew out of the 
few and scattered seeds of a small emigration from beyond the sea. The great 
English statesman, Burke, has said somewhere that to be a statesman one must 
;aot only master the different conditions and occupations of a people, but must so 
xealize them through his imagination that he sees in them one unbroken life. 
This volume has been prepared in the hope that it will present the life of the 
American people so clearly, vividly and comprehensively that the unity and 
magnitude of that life will be more evident than they have ever been before. 
A great people in a great countiy has so many occupations, so many kinds of 
wealth, such differences of condition, that it loses at times the consciousness of 
its family ties and affections. There are so many kinds of Americans, they are 



so widely scattered, and they are busy with such manifold interests, that the 
homestead is in great danger of being neglected by the children, and the sense 
of kinship is likely to be lost in the diversity of interests. 

We talk a great deal about our power but we do not realize it ; we cannot 
realize it until we understand what it is which gives us power. We use a great 
many figures to convey an impression of our acreage and crops ; but it is the 
farmer, the mechanic and the merchant who are the real capital of the country. 
Their character, energy, intelligence, thrift and practical sagacity constitute our 
real wealth ; the wealth which is not subject to the fluctuations of the market or 
the untimely conditions of the weather. This volume tells the story of material 
growth as fully and more comprehensively than most books ; but it tells also the 
story of America as It is written in the life, character and habits of the American 
man and woman. 

To know the American you must know his ancestry and how he came where 
he now is ; that record is made here with a broad completeness which brings out 
the immense variety and volume of race force and character behind the people 
on this continent. To know the American you must know what religious, social 
and political influences shaped and moulded the lives of his forefathers ; those 
influences are all marked and traced here. To know the American of to-day 
you must know what experiences have befallen him on this side the ocean, how 
he has fared and what he has accomplished ; accordingly his history is fully 
spread out in these pages, and his explorations, settlements, wars, growth are 
told, not in detail but so as to cover the ground strongly and effectively. To 
know the American you must know what he is doing to-day ; where his work is 
and how he does it ; how he travels ; what inventions he uses ; what mechanical 
genius he displays ; what books he reads ; what church he attends ; what schools 
he maintains ; what his pleasures are ; and how he employs his wealth. This 
volume answers these questions. It is at once a history, a story, an encyclopaedia 
of national information, and a text-book of national character. It reports travels, 
describes settlements, gives account of wars, traces political ideas and growth, 
follows the lines of trade and of national prosperity, pictures what is going on in 
the shop, the office, the church, the school, the mine, the garden, the grain field, 
the home. It supplies the historic background of American life, and against this 
background it spreads out that life in broad, clear lines of growth and activity. 
It is the story of America, but it is still more the story of the American. Well- 
done or ill-done, it aims at nothing less than to show the American as he lives 
and works on the continent which he has conquered by sheer force of energy 
and intelligence. 

There is no romance so marvelous as this record of fact ; none so full of 
incident, adventure, heroism, and human vicissitude. From the voyages of the 
earliest Spanish, French, and English explorers to the inventions and discoveries 


of Edison the story never fails of thrilling interest. It is a romance of humanity 
written by the hand of Providence on the clean, broad page of a new continent. 
It is a Bible for new illustration of the old laws of right and wrong which underlie 
all history ; but it is a modern version of The Arabian Nights for marvels and 
miracles of human skill and achievements. The building of Aladdin's palace 
was a small affair compared with the building of some of our States ; and 
the rubbing of Aladdin's lamp was but a faint burnishing compared with 
the glow of prosperity which hard work has brought out on the face of this 
continent. There is no romance so wonderful as the story of life told, not by 
novelists of varying degrees of skill, but by great multitudes of eager, ener- 
getic men and women. It is doubtful if any country has ever developed 
greater energy of spirit or greater variety of character than this ; and this is 
the chief reason why our history has such significance and such fruitage of 

To know this history is a duty and a delight. A man whose brave ancestors 
have carried the name he bears far, and made it a synonym for courage and 
honor, is rightly proud of his descent and gets from it a new impulse to bear as 
brave a part in his own day. Americans can honestly cherish such pride ; it is 
justified by what lies behind them. No man can be truly patriotic who does not 
know something of the nation to which he belongs, and of the country in which 
he lives. Such knowledge is a part of intelligent citizenship. In this country, 
where the government rests on the intelligence and virtue of the entire popula- 
tion, such a knowledge is a duty and a necessity. Men who reach eminence in 
their professions invariably have large ideas of those professions ; they know the 
history of the profession and the names of those who have advanced its influence 
and secured its honors. A man of business who takes the lead in his particular 
line of trade is uniformly distinguished by his superior knowledge of business 
problems and conditions. He studies his business in its large relations to the 
business of the country ; he looks at it with the eyes of a statesman. The 
intelligent American cannot be ignorant of the great history in which he has had 
so vital an interest, or of the life of his country to-day. Not to know these 
things is to miss a noble and inspiring landscape which we might see simply 
by the lifting up of the eyes. 

It is for the family that this volume was primarily prepared. America is 
pre-eminently the country of homes ; that is the country which, by its frer 
institutions and its large social and industrial conditions, makes comfortable 
homes possible to its entire population. These homes are not only the sources 
of happiness and the nurseries of purity and prosperity ; they are also the 
schools of citizenship. From these schools are graduated year after year, in 
unbroken and never-ending classes, the men and women who continue and 
enlarge the work and the influence of the nation. The Bible has been and will 


remain the great text-book in these schools ; but other books are needed, and 
this book aims to take its place as an indispensable book of instruction and 
entertainment. The history of a race is the best possible material for the educa- 
tion of the children of that race. We know this by instinct, and we act by 
instinct when we hold up constantly the lives and achievements of our great 
men as. illustrations of honor, honesty and capacity. No teaching is so effective 
as that which flows from persons and characters rather than from abstract 
principles and statements. Few boys care for patriotism as a quality of character, 
but every boy knows on the instant what patriotism means when the names of 
Washington and Lincoln are spoken in his hearing. These great men render 
through character an even higher service than they render through sacrifice and 
action. They embody great virtues, they stand for great principles, they 
illustrate noble qualities. Being dead they still speak with voices whose range 
and power are denied to teachers who impart truth but do not live it on a great 
scale. Alfred the Great has been and still is one of the most persuasive and 
inspiring teachers England has ever had. His name brings instantly to mind 
the noblest traits of English manhood, the grandest type of English citizenship. 
To tell his story to a boy is to teach him the deepest lessons of life while he 
does not suspect anything more enduring than the entertainment of an hour. 
History is summed up in great men, and every virtue, every vice, every decisive 
popular movement is identified with or incarnated in some great man. The 
name of Washington is a most familiar name for truthfulness and integrity, 
that of Arnold for baseness and treachery, that of Jefferson for the democratic 
idea, the rule of the people. These names are always in the air because they 
have their g-eneral and enduring- meanings ; and no man can estimate their 
educational value to the country. They are heard on every political platform, 
but they are heard still more frequently in the school roorrt, and they are of 
more use there than most text-books. 

It was the custom among some nations of antiquity to repeat to each fresh 
generation the noble deeds of their ancestors, thus making history a great oral 
tradition, and turning it from a dead record into a living' romance. Real educa- 
tion is not knowledge of books but knowledge of life, and books are useful 
only so far as they lead us to this kind of knowledge. What men have been 
and have done is the best material for the education which trains one in cour- 
age, honesty, and energy as well as in mental quickness and skill. The Athenian 
boys learned Homer by heart; the "Iliad" and "Odyssey" took the place of 
the pile of books which the school-boy of to-day carries under his arm when he 
sets his " morning face " schoolward. In this way boys learned beauty and 
eloquence of speech, and imbibed the spirit of art while they were yet at their 
games. But they learned even greater things than these ; they grew up with 
the heroes of their race and took part in their great deeds. The bravest and 


most poetic things which their race had done were familiar and became dear to 
them while their natures were most receptive and responsive. The past was 
not dim and obscure to them as it is to too many Americans ; it was a living 
past, full of splendid figures and heroic deeds. To boys so bred in the very 
arms and at the very heart of their race it was a glorious privilege to be an 
Athenian ; to share in a noble history, to be a citizen of a beautiful city, to have 
the proud consciousness of such place and fame among men. It is not surpris- 
ing that as the result of such an education the small city of Athens produced 
more great men in all departments in the brief limits of a century than most 
other cities have bred in the long course of history. There was a vital, inspir- 
ing education behind that splendid flowering of art, literature, philosophy and 

The American boy and girl ought to have the same education. Too many 
grow up with the most indefinite ideas of their own country. They do not 
know what has been done here ; they do not even know how people live in 
other parts of the broad land. They know something of their own commu- 
nities, but they are ignorant of the greater community to which they belong. 
The story of the country's birth and growth, of its struggles and achievements, 
of its wonderfully diversified life, of its heroic men and noble women, ought to 
be familiar to every boy and girl from earliest childhood. This knowledge is 
the A B C of real education. It is to furnish this knowledge that this volume 
has been largely prepared. The home is never isolated and solitary ; it is one 
of a great community of homes stretching across the continent. To get the 
best and the most out of its beautiful relations and its manifold opportunities, 
each home must develop the sense of kinship with other homes, and the con- 
sciousness of common responsibility. Every child must fill a place in the 
nation and the world as well as in the home. He must know, therefore, what 
the nation is and what it demands of him. He must feel the deep and wonder- 
ful life, active and powerful over a whole continent, in which he shares and to 
which he contributes. 

This is the age o ' community feeling ; the sense of brotherhood among men 
of all races has never before been so pervasive and so real. A famine on the 
banks of the Volga, brings quick response from the prosperous fields about the 
Mississippi. Nothing that happens in the remotest corner of the world is with- 
out interest. To know how the other half lives is not only a universal desire, 
but a universal dut}'. This volume not only makes the present acquainted with 
the past and so gives Its historic background, but it brings to each occupation 
and profession the work and condition of every other occupation and profession, 
and it lays before each section of the country the aspects and habits of every 
other section. It is a national book ; it describes the West to the East and the 
North to the South. It tells the merchant how the farmer lives ; it gives the 


mechanic a picture of the miner's life ; it furnishes the planter a glimpse 
of the herdsman. It unfolds a map of the whole country, not in the hard 
and fast lines of geography, but in the streaming, rushing life of an 
inmense and energetic people. It supplies a clear and comprehensive view of 
the government in all its functions of administration ; it describes the great cities ; 
it follows and pictures the countless channels and instrumentalities of travel and 
commerce ; it delineates the work of the farmer, the mechanic, the miner, the 
merchant ; it has something to say about churches, colleges, schools, literature, 
charities. It is, in a word, a national chart, text-book, history and romance for 
the home. 

In the preparation of this volume we have had the assistance of a number 
of experienced writers specially qualified to present the subjects assigned to 
them. This co-operation of knowledge and work was not only necessitated by 
the magnitude and comprehensiveness of a book covering a period of four hun- 
dred years and embracing all the aspects, — historical, religious, industrial, social, 
and intellectual, — of the nation's life, but was deliberately chosen because it en- 
sured greater variety, interest, and thoroughness than any single author could give 
such a work. Its advantages were recognized as counterbalancing the additional 
expense involved. We have, however, planned the entire work, and, with the 
exception of the chapters which are signed by their writers, have outlined and 
thoroughly revised every part we have not ourselves written, thus securing 
unity of aim and purpose throughout. 

Hamilton W. Mabie. 

Marshal H. Bright. 

U.S./*1an op War 

•BuiLt- fOR- E;(hiBiy- at- Wg^Los-FAil^ 







friend disappointment and delay ferdinand his coolness to columbus's project — 

isabella exorbitant terms — at last success — the expedition from palos — mutiny 

Columbus's firmness — mistaken signs — land at last — a new world found — return-; 
to spain — voyages and discoveries — humiliation his death at valladolid. 




































































WAR OE 1812 231 








































som:e korootxen lessoims ok the war 317 








OUR FLAG AT SEA • ... 339 
































































The Story of their Lives and Achievements. 

Ulysses S. Grant. The Hero of ihe Civil War. 

Robert E. Lee. The Great Comm.mder of the Confederate Armies. 

George B. McClellan. First Commander of the Army of tlie Potomac. 

James A. Garfield. Citizen, Statesman, President. 

Samuel J. Tilden. The Great Reform Governor. 

James G. Blaine. The Brilliant and Successful Statesman. 

John Jacob Astor. Our Pioneer Business Man and First Millionaire. 

Cornelius Vanderbilt. The Great Railroad Magnate. 

CVRUS W. Field. The Succes^^ful Projector of the Atlantic Cable. 

Leland Stanford and the Great University of Palo Alto. 

Robert Fulton. The Pioneer of .Steam Navigation. 

Thomas Edison. The Greatest Modern Inventor. 

John Wanamaker. The Great Business Organizer. 

Marshall Field. The Modern Business Man. 

Henry Ward Bef.cher. The Great Pulpit Orator and Reformer. 







^ ^Ije'tre JiHiriF ^ Tjtea^ . 

{From ihe draivin^ tuade from Raleigh's Colony, in IjSs, l>y John White. 
By permission o/ the British Museum.) 










GBN'l henry KNOX. 



Virginia gave us this imperial man, 

Cast in the massive mould 

Of those high-statured ages old 

Which into grander forms our mortal metal ran ; 

Mother of States and undiminished men, 
Thou gavest us a Country, giving him. 

—James Russell Lowell. 




HILE Discovery, whether disclosing unknown lands beyond 
untried seas, or revealing the method of subduing and 
utilizing to man's service some one of the mighty forces of 
Nature, has startled the world more than Conquest, scarcely 
less surprising than some discoveries is the fact that the 
world has so often and for so long a time seemed to call for 
a discoverer in vain. Notably this is the case with the two 
most important discoveries that have ever been made, and 
both in the fifteenth century — that of the art of printing 
and the finding of a new world. For thousands of years the world had 
transcribed its thought into permanent legible characters by means of the 
stylus, the stalk of the papyrus, or the chisel. Slow and laborious were these 
methods, yet the splendid civilizations of the great Eastern Empires, the 
Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and the Medo-Persian, had produced their 
literature without the aid of the printing press, while the later civilizations of 
Greece and Rome — countries that gave to all coming time the noblest litera- 
tures — transcribed them by the painful process of the pen. 

The wonderful brain of the Greek could construct a Parthenon, the wonder 
of the age ; and the Roman reared that pile, so noble in its simplicity — the 
Pantheon ; yet neither could discern the little type that should make the rapid 



multiplying of letters easy, nor place in relief upon a block of wood the tracery 
of a single leaf ; and the wonder is no less, but increases as we consider the fact 
that two vast continents, the half of an entire planet, had for so many centuries 
eluded the gaze of men who went down to the sea in ships, who for centuries 
had navigated an inland sea for two thousand miles, while from Iceland and 
Judand intrepid mariners and Buccaneers had plowed the ocean with their 

For nearly three centuries before the angels sung at Bethlehem, Aristotle, 
following the teachings of the Pythagoreans, had asserted the spheroidicity 
of the earth, and had declared that the great Asiatic Empire could be reached 
by sailing westwardly, a view that was confirmed by Seneca, the Spaniard, who 
affirmed that India could be reached in this way ; and all down the centuries 
the probability of discovery, as we now look back upon those times, seems to 
be increasing ; but, somehow. Discovery still refused to enter the open gate 
leading to the New World, and this, notwithstanding the fact that the Canary 
and Madeira Islands had been discovered some years before, and the Portuguese 
navigators had followed the coast of Africa for thousands of miles, as far as 
the Cape of Good Hope, Columbus himself having skirted the coast to the 
Cape of Storms. The spheroidicity of the earth was generally accepted by 
enlightened men, though the Copernican system was not known, and it was 
believed that there must be a large unknown continent to the west. There 
was such a continent — two of them indeed- — and they were nearer the African 
coast, along which Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian navigators had coursed, 
than the distance they had covered from the Pillars of Hercules to the Cape 
of Good Hope. Yet, though the times wanted a discoverer, he was not to be 


This has long been a disputed question. Norse scholarship has always 
insisted upon the discovery ; scholars looking upon the matter from the outside 
have disputed the claim. One of the principal chains of evidence offered here- 
tofore has been supplied by the Norse Sagas — stories of mingled fact, 
romance and myth ; but they have been distrusted, and up to recent time the 
preponderance of evidence has rather been against the Icelandic claim. But 
latterly new evidence has been brought to light, which seems to fully establish the 
fact of the discovery of America by the Norsemen from Iceland, about A. D. 


To cite the testimony of the Sagas, one must suffice for evidence in that 
direction. The Eyrbyggia Saga — the oldest extant manuscript, remains of 
which date back to about the year 1300 — has the following: "After the recon- 
ciliation between Steinhor and the people of Alpta-firth, Thorbrand's sons. 
Cnorri and Thorleif, went to Greenland. Snorri went to Wineland the Good with 



Karlsefni ; and when they were fighting with the Skreliings there in Wineland, 
Thorbrand Snorrason, a most vahant man, was killed." In the Icelandic Annals, 
also, the oldest of which is supposed to have been written in the south of 
Iceland about the year 1280, mention is made of Vineland. In the year 1121 
it is recorded that " Bishop Eric Uppsi sought Wineland." The same entry is 
found in the chronological lists. These would seem to supply historical 
references to the Norse discovery of America, set down in such a manner as to 
indicate that the knowledge of the fact was widely diffused. 

One of the most interesting accounts taken from the Norse records is that 
found in a parchment discovered in a Monastery library of the Island of Flato, 


and which was transferred to Copenhagen and submitted to the inspection of 
Professor Rafn and other noted Icelandic scholars. Professor Rafn reproduces 
the record in his "Antiquities." The story is as follows: "In the year 996, 
while sailing from Iceland to Greenland, Biarne Heriulfson was driven southward 
by a storm, when they came in sight of land they had never before seen. Biarne 
did not try to land, but put his ship about and eventually reached Greenland. 
Four years after, in A. D. 1000, Leif the son of Eric the Red, sailed from 
Brattahlid in search of the land seen by Biarne. This land Leif soon discovered ; 
he landed, it is supposed, on the coast of Labrador, which he named Helluland, 
because of the numerous flat stones found there, from the word hclla, a flat 

Finding the shore inhospitable, he again set sail and soon reached a coast 


corresponding to Nova Scotia. This he called Markland (Woodland). Leif 
put to sea a third time, and after two days' buffeting landed, it is supposed, in 
Mount Hope Bay, in Rhode Island. Here the adventurers wintered, and noted 
that on the shortest day the sun rose at 7.30 a. m., and set at 4.30 p. m. After 
naming the newly discovered land Vineland, on account of the profusion of 
wild grapes, he returned in the following spring to Greenland." 

But it is only just to cite opinions on the other side. In his History Mr. 
Bancroft denies that the alleged discovery of the North American mainland is 
established by any clear historical evidence. He admits, indeed, that there is 
nothing intrinsically improbable in the notion that the colonizers of Greenland 
(and the early colonization of Greenland is admitted) may have explored the 
coast to the South. But the assertion that they actually did so rests, he says, 
on narratives "mythological in form, obscure in meaning, ancient, yet not 
contemporary." Mr. Justin Winsor, the well-known historian, seems unwilling 
to admit the trustworthiness of the epical accounts of the voyages of the 
Northmen to the so-called Vineland. 

But a recent writer, Mr. Arthur Middleton Reeves, well versed in Scandi- 
navian and Icelandic literature, has lately come forward to maintain the reality 
of the discovery ascribed to the Northmen, and has set forth an imposing array 
of evidence and argument in support of his belief. Mr. Reeves finds his proofs 
not in the Sagas alone, which Bancroft and Winsor reject, but he has also 
gathered together the preceding references to the Vineland voyages, which are 
scattered through the early history of Iceland. From these last mentioned data 
it seems clearly demonstrable that the discovery of the American mainland took 
place, as has been claimed, about A. D. 1000, and was well known in Greenland 
and Iceland long before any of the three Sagas dealing with the theme were 
penned, for there is documentary proof reaching so far back as about the year 
1 1 10. 

Among the proofs brought forward, is the story as told by the Icelandic 
scholar, Ari the Learned, who was born in Iceland in the year 1067, and who 
died in 1148. In Ari's book, narrating the colonization of Greenland, he says 
that the settlers perceived, from the dwellings, the fragments of boats, and the 
stone implements, that the people had been there who inhabited Wineland, and 
whom the Greenlanders called " Skrellings." Furthermore, in the Collectanea 
of Middle-age Wisdom, a manuscript written partly in Icelandic and partly 
in Latin, between the years 1400 and 1450, it is stated that "southward from 
Greenland is Helluland ; thence is Markland ; thence it is not far to Wineland 
the Good. Leif the Lucky first found Greenland." In another historical vellum 
document it is stated that " from Greenland to the southward lies Helluland, 
then Markland, thence it is not far to Wineland ;" and in another vellum of 
the year 1400, it is said "south from Greenland lies Helluland, then Markland, 



thence it is not far to Vineland." Still again — and the evidence must end with 
this citation — in an old manuscript, written according to the Icelandic scholar 
Dr. Vigfasson, as early as 1 260-1 280, referring to the date A. D. 1000, the manu- 
script records : "Wineland the Good found. That summer King Olaf sent Leif 
to Greenland, to proclaim Christianity there. He sailed that summer to Green- 
land. He found in the sea men upon a wreck, and helped them. There found 
he also Wineland the Good, and arrived in the autumn at Greenland." 

It is objected to the discovery of America from Greenland that no runic 
(Scandinavian) inscriptions have been found in any part of the North American 
continent. But the answer to this objection is that the Northmen never 
pretended that they had colonized 
Vineland ; they simply recounted their 
discovery of the country and their 
unsuccessful attempts to colonize it. 
Runic inscriptions, therefore, and other 
archccolocrical remains, are not to be 
expected in a region where no perma- 
nent settlements were made. Besides, 
as Mr. Reeves points out, the rigorous 
application of the test would make the 
discovery of Iceland itself disputable. 
In conclusion, as to this matter, we 
have only to add that the statements 
put forth seem not only to confirm what 
we meet with in the Sao-as, but, taken 


by themselves alone, they seem to fully 
establish the fact of the discovery of 
America by the Icelanders, even had 
the Sagas never been written, 
coveries we come to 


It was the glory of Italy to furnish the greatest of the discoverers of the 
New World. Not only Columbus, but Vespucci (or Vespucius), the Cabots, and 
Verazzani were born under Italian skies ; yet singularly enough the country of 
the Caesars was to gain not a square foot of territory for herself where other 
nations divided majestic continents between them. So, too, in the matter of 
Columbus biography and investigation, up to the present time but one Italian, 
Professor Francesco Tarducci, has materially added to the sum of the world's 
knowledge in a field pre-eminently occupied by Washington Irving, Henry 
Harrisse, and Roselly de Lorgues, a Frenchman, — these comprising the powerful 
original writers in Columbian biography. 


And now leaving the Norsemen and their dis- 



In treating our subject we naturally begin at the starting point of 
biography, the birthplace. The generally accepted statement has been that 
Columbus was born at Genoa, especially as Columbus begins his will with the 
well-known declaration, "I, being born in Genoa." 

But it has been asserted by numerous writers that in this Columbus 
was mistaken, just as for a long time General Sheridan was mistaken In 
supposing himself to have been born in a little Ohio town, when he learned, 

within a year or two of his death, 
that he was born in Albany, N. Y. 
But passing this, it remains to be 
said that the evidence of the Geno- 
ese birth of Columbus may now be 
considered as fully established. As 
to the time of his birth there has 
been not a little question. Henry 
Harrisse, the American scholar al- 
ready referred to, placed it between 
March 25th, 1446, and March 20th, 
1447. This, however, we can hardly 
accept, especially as it would make 
Columbus at the time of his first 
naval venture only thirteen years of 
age. Tarducci gives 1435 or 1436 
as the year of his birth. This is also 
the date given by Irving, and it 
would seem to be the most proba- 
ble. This is the almost decisive 
tesdmony of Andres Bernaldez, bet- 
ter known as the Curate of Los 
Palacios, who was most intim.ate with 
Columbus and had him a great deal 
in his house. He says the death of 
Columbus took place in his seven- 
tieth year. His death occurred May 20th, 1506, which would make the year 
of his birth probably about 1436. And now starting with Genoa as the 
birthplace of Columbus and about the year 1435 or 1436 as the dme of his 
birth, we proceed with our story. 

Christopher Columbus (or Columbo in Italian) was the son of Dominico 
Columbo and Susannah Fontanarossa his wife. The father was a wool carder, 
a business which seems to have been followed by the family through several 
generations. He was the oldest of four children, having two brothers, 



Bartholomew and Giacomo (James in English, in Spanish, Diego), and one 
sister. Of the early years of Columbus little is known. It is asserted by 
some that Columbus was a wool comber — no mean occupation in that day — 
and did not follow the sea. On the other hand, it is insisted — and Tarducci 
and Harrisse hold to that view — that, whether or not he enlisted in expeditions 
against the Venetians and Neapolitans (and the whole record is misty and 
uncertain), Columbus at an early age showed a marked inclination for the 
sea, and his education was largely directed along the lines of his tastes, and 
included such studies as geography, astronomy, and navigation. Certain it 
is that when Columbus arrived at Lisbon he was one of the best geographers 
and cosmographers of his age, and was accustomed to the sea from infancy.* 
Happily his was an age favorable for discovery. The works of travel were 
brought to the front. Pliny and Strabo, sometime forgotten names, were 
more than Sappho and Catullus, which a later but not a better age affected. 
The closing decade of the fifteenth century was a time of heroism, of deeds 
of daring, and discovery. Rude and unlettered to some extent, it m.ay be 
conceded it was ; yet it was far more fruitful, and brought greater blessings 
to the world than are bestowed by the effeminate luxury which often character- 
izes a civilization too daintily pampered, too tenderly reared. Life then was 
at least serious. 

Right here it may be in place to state how invention promoted Columbian 
discovery. The compass had been known for six hundred years. But at this 
time the quadrant and sextant were unknown ; it became necessary to discover 
some means for finding the altitude of the sun, to ascertain one's distance 
from the equator. This was accomplished by utilizing the Astrolabe, an 
instrument only lately used by astronomers in their stellar work. This inven- 
tion gave an entirely new direction to navigation, delivering seamen from the 
necessity of always keeping near the shore, and permitting the little ships — 
small vessels they were — to sail free amidst the immensity of the sea, so that a 
ship that had lost its course, formerly obliged to grope its way back by the 
uncertain guidance of the stars, could now, by aid of compass and astralobe, 
retrace its course with ease. Much has justly been ascribed to the compass as 
a promoter of navigation ; but it is a question if the astralobe has not played 
quite as important a part. 

The best authorities place the arrival of Columbus at Lisbon about the year 
1470. It is probable Columbus was known by reputation to Alfonso V, King 
of Portugal. It Is unquestionable that Columbus was attracted to Portugal 
by the spirit of discovery which prevailed throughout the Iberian peninsula, 
fruits of which were just beginning to be gathered. Prince Henry of Portugal, 

* Tarducci, I, 41. 



tt'ho was one of the very first of navigators, if not the foremost explorer of his 
day, had estabHshed a Naval College and Observatoiy, to which the most 
learned men were invited, while under the Portuguese flag the greater part of 
the African -coast had been already explored. Having settled in Lisbon, at the 
Convent of All Saints, Columbus formed an acquaintance with Felipa Monis de 
Perestrello, daughter of Bartholomew de Perestrello, an able navigator but poor, 
with whom and two others Prince Henry h^d made his first discovery. The 
acquaintance soon ripened into love, and 
Columbus made her his wife Felipa's father 


soon died, and then with his wife and her mother Columbus moved to Porto 
Santo, where a son was born to them, whom they named Diego. Felipa hence 
forth disappears from history ; there is no further record of her. At Porto 
Santo Columbus supported his family and helped sustain his aged father, who 
was living poorly enough off at Savona, and who was forced to sell the little 
property he had, and whose precarious living led him to make new loans and 
incur new debts. 


Meanwhile Columbus was imbibing to the full the spirit of discovery so 
widely prevalent. It was not his wife who materially helped him at this time, as 
has been asserted, but his mother-in-law, who, observing the deep interest that 
Columbus took in all matters of exploration and discovery, gave him all the 
manuscripts and charts which her husband had made, which, with his own 
voyages to some recently discovered places, only renewed the burning desire 
for exploration and discovery. The leaven was rapidly working. 

But the sojourn at Portugal must be briefly passed over. The reports that 
came to his ears while living at Porto Santo only intensified his convictions of 
the existence of an empire to the West. He heard of great reeds and a bit of 
curiously carved wood seen at sea, floating from the West ; and vague rumors 
reached him at different times, of " strange lands " in the Atlantic — most if not 
all of them mythical. But they continued to stimulate interest as they show the 
state of public thought at that time respecting the Atlantic, whose western regions 
were all unknown. All the reports and all the utterances of the day Columbus 
watched with closest scrutiny. He secured old tomes for fullest information as 
to what the ancients had written or the moderns discovered. All this served to 
keep the subject fresh in his mind, nor would it "down," for his convictions were 
constantly ministered to by contemporary speculators. Toscanelli, an Italian 
mathematician, had written, at the instance of King Alfonso, instructions for a 
western route to Asia. With him Columbus entered into correspondence, 
which greatly strengthened his theories. 

Now they came to a head. Constant thought and reflection resulted in 
his conception of an especial course to take, which, followed for a specific time, 
would result in the discovery of an empire. And the end ! He would subdue 
a great trans-Atlantic empire, and from its riches he would secure the wealth to 
devote to expeditions for recovering the Holy Land, and so he would pay the 
Moors dearly for their invasion of the Iberian peninsula, — a truly fanciful but 
not a wholly unreasonable conception, as the times were. 


At last he found means to lay his project before the King of Portugal. 
But the royal councillors treated the attempt to cross the Atlantic as rash and 
dangerous, and the conditions required by Columbus as exorbitant. The 
adventurous King, John II, — Alfonso had died in 1481 — had more faith in his 
scheme than his wise men, and, with a dishonesty not creditable to him, 
attempted at this time to reap the benefit of Columbus' studies and plans by 
sending out an expedition of his own in the direction and by the way traced in 
his charts. But the skill and daring of Columbus were wanting, and at the 
first mutterings of the sea the expedition sought safety in flight. It turned 
back to the Cape de Verde islands, and the officers took revenge for their 


disappointment by ridiculing the project of Columbus as the vision of a day 
dreamer. O, valiant voyagers ! — New Worlds are not discovered by such 
men as you ! 

Columbus's brother Bartholomew had endeavored about this time to 
interest the British monarch in the project, but the first of the Tudors had too 
much to do in quelling insurrection at home, and in raising revenues by illegal 
means, to spend any moneys on visionary projects. Henry III would have 
none of him. 

Meantime, indigriant at the infamous treatment accorded him, and with 
his ties to Portugal already sundered by the death of his wife, he determined 
to shake the dust of Portugal off his feet, and seek the Court of Spain. He 
would start at once for Cordova, where the Spanish Court then was. Leaving 
Lisbon secretly, near the close of 1484, he chose to follow the sea coast to Palos, 
instead of taking the direct inland route, and most happily so ; for, in so doing 
he was to gain a friend and a most important ally ; this circumstance the 
unthinking man will ascribe to chance, but the believer to Providence. Weary 
and foot-sore, on his journey, he finally arrived at Palos, then a small port on 
the Atlantic, at the mouth of the Tinto, in Andalusia ; here hunger and want 
drove him to seek assistance from the charity of the Monks, and ascending the 
steep mountain road to the Franciscan monastery of Santa Maria de La 
Rabida, he met the pious prior, Father Juan Perez, who, struck with his 
imposing presence, despite his sorry appearance, entered into conversation with 

As the interview grew in interest to both the parties, Columbus was led to 
impart to the prior his great project, to the prior's increasing wonder, for in Palos 
the spirit of exploration was as regnant as in Lisbon. Columbus was invited 
to make the Convent his place of sojourn, an invitation he was only too glad 
to accept. Then Father Perez sent for his friend, a well known geographer 
of Palos, and, deeply interested in all that related to exploration and the 
discovery of new lands, the three took the subject into earnest consideration, 
thorough discussion of the question being had. It was not long before 
Father Perez — all honor to his name ! — became deeply interested in the plans 
of Columbus. To glorify God is the highest aim to which one can address 
himself ; of that feeling Father Perez was thoroughly possessed ; and how 
could he more fully glorify him than by aiding in the discovery of new lands 
and the spreading of Christianity there ? Impelled by this feeling, he urged 
Columbus to proceed at once to Cordova, where the Spanish Court then was, 
giving him money for his journey, and a letter of commendation to his friend, 
the father prior of the monastery of El Prado Fernando de Talavera, the 
queen's Confessor, and a person of great influence at Court. There was hope;' 
and there was a period of long and weary waiting yet before him. 


Arriving at Cordova, Columbus found the city a great military camp, and 
all Spain aroused in a final effort to expel the Moors. Fernando, the Confessor, 
was a very different man from Perez, and instead of treating Columbus kindly, 
received him coolly, and for a long while actively prevented him from meeting 
the king. The Copernican theory, though held by some, was not at this time 
established, and the chief reason why the Confessor opposed Columbus's 
plan was unquestionably because he measured a scientific theory by appeal 
to the Scriptures — just as the Sacred Congregation did in Galileo's case a 
century and a half later — just as some well-meaning but mistaken souls do 

At length, through the friendship of de Ouintanilla, Comptroller of the 
Castilian Treasury, Geraldini, the Pope's nuncio, and his brother, Allessandro, 
tutor of the children of Ferdinand and Isabella, Columbus was made known to 
Cardinal Mendoza, who introduced him to the king. Ferdinand listened to him 
patiently, and referred the whole matter to a council of learned men, mostly 
composed of ecclesiastics, under the presidency of the Confessor. Here again 
dogma supplanted science, and controverted Columbus's theories by Scriptural 
texts, and caused delay, so it was not till 1491 — Columbus had now been 
residing in Spain six years — that the Commission reported the project "vain 
and impossible, and not becoming great princes to engage in on such slender 
grounds as had been adduced." 

The report of the Commission seemed a death-blow to the hopes of 
Columbus. Disappointed and sick at heart, and disgusted at six years of 
delay, Columbus turned his back on Spain, "indignant at the thought of having 
been beguiled out of so many precious years of waning existence." Deter- 
mined to lay his project before Charles VIII, of France, he departed, and 
stopped over at the little Monastery of La Rabida, from whose Prior, Juan 
Perez, six years before, he had departed with such sanguine hopes, for 

The good friar was greatly moved. Finally he concluded to make another 
and final effort. Presuming upon his position as the queen's Confessor, Perez 
made an appeal direct to Isabella, and this time with the result that an inter- 
view was arranged, at which Isabella was present. His proposals would have 
at once been accepted but that Columbus demanded powers '■' which even 

* His principal stipulations were (i) that he should have, for himself during his life, and 
his heirs and successors forever, the office of admiral in all the lands and continents which he 
might discover or acquire in the ocean, with similar honors and prerogatives to those enjoyed by 
the high admiral of Castile in his district. (2) That he should be viceroy and governor-general 
over all the said lands and continents, with the privilege of nominating three candidates for the 
government of each island or province, one of whom should be selected by the sovereigns. (3) 
That he should be entitled to reserve for himself one-tenth of all pearls, precious stones, gold, silver. 



de Talavera pronounced "arbitrary and 
presumptuous," though they were of like 
character with those conceded by Portu- 
oral to Vasco de Gamba. Anjrered and in- 
dignant at the rejection of his terms, 
which were conditioned 
only upon his success, 
Columbus impulsively 
left the royal presence, 
and taking leave of 
his friends, set 
out for France, 
determined to 

offer his services to 
Louis XII. 


But no sooner 
had Columbus gone, 
than the queen, who we may 
believe reg-retted the loss of 
possible glory of discovery, 
hastily despatched a messen- 
ger after him, who overtook 
him when two leagues away 
and brought him back. 

Although Ferdinand 

spices, and all other articles and merchan- 
dises, in whatever manner found, bought, 
bartered, or gained within his admiralt\', the 
cost being first deducted. (4) That he, or 
his lieutenant, should be the sole judge in 
all causes and disputes arising out of traffic 
between those countries and Spain, provided 
the high admiral of Castile had similar 
jurisdiction in his district. 




was opposed to the project, Isabella concluded to yield to Columbus his terms 
and agreed to advance the cost, 14,000 florins, about ^7,000, from her own 
revenues, and so to Spain was saved the empire of a New World. On May 12 
Columbus took leave of the king and queen to superintend the fitting out of 
the expedition at the port of Palos. The hour and the man had at last met. 


What thoughts and apprehensions filled the heart and mind of Columbus 
as he at last saw the yearning desires of years about to be met, may be to some 
extent conceived ; they certainly cannot be expressed. Not a general at the 
head of his great army who, at a critical moment in battle, sees the enemy make 
the false move which insures him the victory, could feel more exultant than 
Columbus must have felt when he left the pres- 
ence of the Spanish Court, and, after seven years 
of weary and all but hopeless waiting at last saw 
the possibilities of the great unknown opening up 
before him, and beheld, in a vision to him as clear 
and radiant as the sun shining in the heavens, a 
New World extending its arms and welcoming him 
to her embrace. It would seem as if everything 
now conspired to atone for the disappointing past. 
His old tried friend, Perez, prior of the La Rabida 
monastery, near Palos, received him with open arms, 
and well he might, for had not his kind offices 
made success possible ? And the authorities, as if 
to make good the disappointments of seven years, 
could not now do too much. All public officials, of 
all ranks and conditions in the maritime borders of 
Andalusia were commanded to furnish supplies and 
assistance of all kinds. Not only so, but as superstition and fear made ship 
owners reluctant to send their vessels on the expedition, the necessary ships 
and men were to be provided, if need be, by impressment, and it was in this 
way vessels and men were secured. 

In three months the expedition was ready to sail. The courage of 
Columbus in setting sail in untried waters becomes more evident when we 
consider the size of the ships comprising the little expedition. They were 
three in number ; the largest of them, the Santa Maria, was only ninety feet 
long, being about the size of our modern racing yachts. Her smaller consorts, 
the Pinta and the Nina, were little caravels, very like our fishing smacks, 
without any deck to keep the water out. The Santa Maria had four masts, 
of which two were square rigged, and two fitted with lateen sails like those 

{After an engraznng published in 1384.) 


used on the Nile boats ; this vessel Columbus commanded. Martin Alonzo 
Pinzon commanded the Pinta, and his brother, Vincente Yanez Pinzon, the 
Nina. The fleet was now all ready for sea ; but before setting sail Columbus 
and most of his officers and crew confessed to Friar Juan Perez, and partook 
of the Sacrament. Surely such an enterprise needed the blessing of heaven, 
if any did ! 

It was before sunrise on Friday morning, August 3, 1492, that Columbus, 
with 30 officers and adventurers and 90 seamen, in all 120 souls, set sail, "in 
the name of Christ," from behind the little island of Saltes. Those inclined to 
be superstitious regarding Friday will do well to note that it was on a Friday 
Columbus set sail from Palos ; it was on Friday, the 12th of October, that he 
landed in the New World ; on a Friday he set sail homeward ; on a Friday, 
again, the 15th of February, 1493, land was sighted on his return to Europe, 
and that on Friday, the 1 5th of March, he returned to Palos. The story of that 
eventful trip has never ceased to charm the world, nor ever will so long as 
the triumphs of genius, the incentives of religion, and the achievements of 
courage have interest for mankind. 

It was Columbus's intention to steer southwesterly for the Canary Islands, 
and thence to strike due west — due to misconception occasioned by the very 
incorrect maps of that period. On the third day out the Pinta's rudder was 
found to be disabled and the vessel leaking, caused, doubtless, by her owner, 
who did not wish his vessel to go, — the ship having been impressed — and 
thinking to secure her return. Instead of this, Columbus continued on his 
course and decided to touch at the Canaries, which he reached on the 9th. 
Here he was detained for some weeks, till he learned from a friendly sail that 
three Portuguese war vessels had been seen hovering off the island Gomera, 
where he was taking in wood, water, and provisions. Apprehensive, and 
probably rightly so, that the object was to capture his fleet, Columbus lost 
no time in putting to sea. 


It was early morning on the 6th of September that Columbus again set 
sail, steering due west, on an unknown sea. He need fear no hostile fleets, 
and he was beyond the hindrance of plotting enemies on shore ; and yet so far 
from escaping trouble it seemed as if he had but plunged into deeper tribulations 
and trials than ever. 

As the last trace of land faded from view the hearts of the crews failed 
them. They were going they knew not where ; would they ever return ? 
Tears and loud lamentings followed, and Columbus and his officers had all they 
could do to calm the men. After leaving the Canaries the winds were light and 
baffling, but always from the East. On the iith of September, when about 



450 miles west of Ferro, they saw part of 
a mast floating by, which, from its size, 
appeared to have belonged to a vessel of 
about 1 20 tons burden. To the crew this 
meant the story of wreck ; why not pro- 
phetic of their own ? The discover^' only 
added to their fears. And now a remark- 
able and unprecedented phenomenon pre- 






*. i'_ 










sented itself "As true 
as the needle to the 
pole" may be a pretty 
simile, but it is false in 
fact For, on the 13th 
of September, at night- 
fall, Columbus, for the 
first time in all his experience, discovered that the needle did not point to 
the North star, but varied about half a point, or five and a half degrees to the 
northwest. As he gave the matter close attention Columbus found the variation 

«jmLU ,1/ w ia 



to increase with every day's advance. This discovery, at first kept secret, 
was early noticed by the pilots, and soon the news spread among the crews, 
exciting their alarm. If the compass was to lose its virtues, what was to become 
of them on a trackless sea ? Columbus invented a theory which was ingenious 
but failed wholly to allay the terror. He told them that the needle pointed to 
an exact point, but that the star Polaris revolved, and described a circle around 
the pole. Polaris does revolve around a given point, but its apparent motion is 
slow, while the needle does not point to a definite fixed point. The true expla- 
nation of the needle variations — sometimes it fluctuates thirty or forty degrees — 
is to be found in the flowing- of the electrical currents through the earth in 
different directions, upon which the sun seems to have an effect. 

Columbus took observations of the sun every day, with an Astrolabe, and 
shrewdly kept two logs every day. One of these, prepared in secret, contained 
the true record of the daily advance ; the other, showing smaller progress, was 
for the crew, by which means they were kept in ignorance of the great 
distance they were from Spain. 


On the 14th of September the voyagers discovered a water-wagtail and a 
heron hovering about the ships, signs which were taken as indicating the 
nearness of land, and which greatly rejoiced the sailors. On the night of the 
15th a meteor fell within five lengths of the Santa Maria. On the i6th the 
ships entered the region of the trade winds ; with this propitious breeze, 
directly aft, the three vessels sailed gently but quickly over a tranquil sea, so 
that for many days not a sail was shifted. This balmy weather Columbus 
constantly refers to in his diary, and observes that "the air was so mild that it 
wanted but the song of nightingales to make it like the month of April in 
Andalusia." On the i8th of September the sea, as Columbus tells us, was "as 
calm as the Guadalquiver at Seville." Air and sea alike continued to furnish 
evidences of life and indications of land, and Pinzon, on the Pinta, which, being 
the fastest sailer, generally kept the lead, assured the admiral that indications 
pointed to land the following day. On the 19th, soundings were taken and no 
bottom found at two hundred fathoms. On the 20th, several birds visited the 
ships ; they were small song birds, showing they could not have come a very 
long distance ; all of which furnished cause for encouragement. 

But still discontent was growing. Gradually the minds of the men were 
becoming diseased through terror, even the calmness of the weather increasing 
their fears, for with such light winds, and from the east, too, how were they 
ever to get back ? However, as if to allay their feelings, the wind soon shifted 
to the southwest. 

A little after sunset on the 25th, Columbus and his officers were examining 


their charts and discussing the probable location of the island Cipango,* which 
the admiral had placed on his map, when from the deck of the Pinta arose the 
cry of " Land ! Land ! " At once Columbus fell on his knees and gave thanks 
to Heaven. Martin Alonzo and his crew of the Pinta broke out into the 
"Gloria in Excelsis," in which the crew of the Santa Maria joined, while 
the men of the Nina scrambled up to the masthead and declared that they, 
too, saw land. At once Columbus ordered the course of the vessels to be 
changed toward the supposed land. In impatience the men waited for the 
dawn, and when the morning appeared, lo ! the insubstantial pageant had faded, 
the cloud-vision, for such it was, had vanished into thin air. The, disappoint- 
ment was as keen as the enthusiasm had been intense ; silently they obeyed the 
admiral's order, and turned the prows of their vessels to the west again. 

A week passed, marked by further variations of the needle and flights of 
birds. The first day of October dawned with such amber weather as is common 
on the Atlantic coast in the month of "mists and yellow fruitfulness." The 
pilot on Columbus's ship announced sorrowfully that they were then 520 leagues, 
or 1560 miles, from Ferro. He and the crew were little aware that they had 
accomplished 707 leagues, or nearly 2200 miles. And Columbus had a strong 
incentive for this deception ; for, had he not often told them that the length of 
his voyage would be 700 leagues ? — and had they known that this distance had 
already been made, what might they not have done ! On the 7th of October the 
Nina gave the signal for land, but instead of land, as they advanced the vision 
melted and their hopes were again dissipated. 

The ship had now made 750 leagues and no land appeared. Possibly he 
had made a mistake in his latitude ; and so it was that, observing birds flying 
to the southward, Columbus changed his course and followed the birds, recalling, 
as he says in his journal, that by following the flight of birds going to their 
nesting and feeding grounds the Portuguese had been so successful in their 
discoveries. On Monday, the 8th, the sea was calm, with fish sporting every- 
where in great abundance ; flocks of birds and wild ducks passed by. Tuesday 
and Wednesday there was a continual passage of birds. On the evening of 
this day, while the vessels were sailing close together, mutiny suddenly broke 
out. The men could trust to signs no longer. With cursing and imprecation 

* Cipango was an imaginative island based upon the incorrect cosmography of Toscanelli, 
whose map was accepted in Columbus's time as the most nearly correct chart of any extant. The 
Ptolemaic theory of 20,400 geographical miles as the Equatorial girth was accepted by Columbus, 
which lessened his degrees of latitude and shortened the distance he would have to sail to reach 
Asia. The island Cipango was supposed to be over 1000 miles long, running north and south, 
and the distance placed at 52 degrees instead of the 230 degrees which actually separates the coast 
of Spain from the eastern coast of Asia. The island was placed in about the latitude of the 
Gulf of Mexico. 



LAND, HO! 39 

they declared they would not run on to destruction, and insisted upon returning 
to Spain. Then Columbus showed the stuff he was made of. He and they, he 
said, were there to obey the commands of their Sovereigns ; they must find the 
Indies. With unruffled calmness he ordered the voyage continued. 

On Thursday, the iith, the spirit of mutiny gave way to a very different 
feeling, for the signs of the nearness of land multiplied rapidly. They saw a 
green fish known to feed on the rocks, then a branch with berries on it, 
evidently recently separated from a tree, floated by them, and above all, a 
rudely carved staff was seen. Once more gloom and mutiny gave way to 
sanguine expectation. All the indications pointing to land in the evening, the 
ships stood to the west, and Columbus, assembling his men, addressed them. 
He thought land might be made that night, and enjoined that a vigilant lookout 
be kept, and ordered a double watch set. He promised a silken doublet, in 
addition to the pension guaranteed by the Crown, to the one first seeing land. 


That night, the ever memorable night of Thursday, opening into the 
morning of Friday, the 12th of October, not a soul slept on any vessel. The 
sea was calm and a good breeze filled the sails, moving the ships along at 
twelve miles an hour ; they were on the eve of an event such as the world had 
never seen, could never see again. The musical rippling of the waves and the 
creaking of the cordage were all the sounds that were audible, for the birds 
had retired to rest. The hours passed slowly by. It was just past midnight 
when the admiral, with restless eye, sought to penetrate the darkness. Then a 
far-off light came to his vision. Calling Guiterrez, a court officer, he also saw 
it. At two in the morning a gun from the Pinta, which led the other boats, 
gave notice that land was at last found. A New World had indeed been 
discovered. The hopes of years had attained their fruition. It was Rodrigo de 
Triana, a seaman, who first saw land — though, alas ! he received neither promised 
doublet nor pension. Friday, the 12th of October, 1492, corresponding to the 
2 1 St of October, 1492, of the present calendar, was the ever memorable day. 

The morning light came, and, lifting the veil that had concealed the 
supreme object of their hopes, revealed a low, beautiful island, not fifty miles 
long, and scarcely two leagues away. Columbus gave the signal to cast anchor 
and lower the boats, the men to carry arms. Dressed in a rich costume of 
scarlet, and bearing the royal standard, upon which was painted the image of 
the crucified Christ, he took the lead, followed by the other captains, Pinzon and 
Yanez. Columbus was the first to land ; and as soon as he touched the shore 
he fell down upon his knees and fervently kissed "the blessed ground" three 
times, returning thanks to God for the great favor bestowed upon him. The 
C thers followed his example ; and then, recognizing the Providence which had 


crowned his efforts with success, he gave the name of the Redeemer — San 
Salvador — to the discovered island, which was called by the natives " Guana- 
hani." * And now the crews, who but a few days previously had reviled and 
cursed Columbus, gathered around, asking pardon for their conduct and prom- 
ising complete submission in future. 

Columbus supposed at last he had reached the opulent land of the Indies, 
and so called the natives Indians. But it was an island, not a continent or an 
Asiatic empire, he had found; an island "very large and level, clad with the 
freshest trees, with much water in it, a vast lake in the middle, and no 

The natives dwelling on the island were found to be a well-proportioned 
people with fine bodies, simple in their habits and customs, friendly, though shy 
in manner, and they were perfectly naked. They thought the huge ships to be 
monsters risen from the sea or gods come down from heaven. Presents were 
exchanged with them, including gold bracelets worn by the natives. Inquiry 
was made as to where the gold came from. For answer the natives pointed by 
gestures to the southwest. Columbus tried to induce some of the natives to go 
with him and show where the land of gold was to be found. But this they 
refused to do; so on the next day (Sunday, the 14th), taking along by force 
seven natives, that he might instruct them in Spanish and make interpreters of 
them, he set sail to discover, if possible, where gold was to be had in such 
abundance, and which, he thought, must be Cipango. 

* It is simply impossible to say which one of that long stretch of islands, some 3000 in 
number, extending from the coast of Florida to Haiti, as if forming a breakwater for the island of 
Cuba, Guanahani is. Opinion greatly varies. San Salvador, or Cat Island, was in early favor ; 
Humboldt and Irving — the latter having the problem worked out for him by Captain A. S. 
Mackenzie, U. S. N. — favored that view. The objections are that it is not "a small island" as 
Columbus called it, and it does not answer to the description of having "a vast lake in the 
middle" as Columbus says of Guanahani in his journal. Navette advocates the Grand Turk 
Island which has the lake. Watling's Island was first advocated by Munoz and accepted by 
Captain Beecher, R. N., in 1856, and Oscar Perchel in 1S5S. Major, of the British Museum, has 
taken up with Watling's Island, as did Lieutenant J. B. Murdoch, U. S. N., after a careful 
examination in 1884. This view is accepted by C. A. Schott of the U. S. Coast Survey. On the 
other hand. Captain G. V. Fox, U. S. N., in 1880, put forth an elaborate claim for Samana, based 
upon a very careful examination of the route as given in Columbus's journal. This claim, with 
careful consideration of other conditions, has been very carefully examined by Mr. Charles H. 
Rockwell, an astronomer, of Tarrytown, N. Y. Mr. Rockwell assents to Captain Fox's view, 
which he finds confirmed by the course Columbus took in bringing his ship to land. He also 
traverses Captain Beecher's claim for Watling's Island, which he finds to be inconsistent with 
Columbus's narrative. As we have said, the problem is beset with difficulties, both as relates to 
the sailing course, and the extent and topography of the island ; and at the present time it appears 
to be well-nigh insoluble. Where the external conditions are met, the internal conditions, including 
the large lake, seem wanting ; the difficulties in the case seem to be irresistible. 


He was, of course, in the midst of the Bahama group, and did not have to 
sail far to discover an island. On the 15th he discovered the island Conception. 
On the third day he repeated the forms of landing and took possession, as he 
did also on the i6th, when he discovered an island which he called Fernandina, 
known to be the island at present called Exuma. On the 19th another island 
was discovered, which Columbus named Isabella, and which he declared to be 
" the most beautiful of all the islands " he had seen. The breezes brought 
odors as spicy as those from Araby the Blest ; palm trees waved their fringed 
banners to the wind, and flocks of parrots obscured the sky. It was a land 
where every prospect pleased and Nature bestowed her largesse, from no 
stinted hand. 

But no — it was not a land of gold. Leaving Isabella after a five days' 
sojourn, on Friday, the 26th of October, he entered the mouth of a beautiful river 
on the northeast terminus of the island of Cuba, where sky and sea seem to 
conspire to produce endless halcyon days, for the air was a continual balm and 
the sea bathes the grasses, which grow to the water's edge, whose tendrils and 
roots are undisturbed by the sweep of the tides. Upon the delights that came to 
Columbus in this new-found paradise we cannot dwell ; admiration and rapture 
mingled with the sensations that swept over the soul of the great navigator 
as he contemplated the virgin charms of a new world won by his valor. 

But the survey of succeeding events must be rapid. From the 28th of 
October till November 12th Columbus explored the island, skirting the shore in 
a westerly direction. He discovered during that time tobacco, of which he 
thought little, but which, singularly enough, proved more productive to the 
Spanish Crown than the gold which he sought but did not find. 

On the 20th of November Columbus was deserted by Martin Pinzon, 
whose ship, the Pinta, could outsail all the others. Martin would find gold for 
himself. This was a kind of treachery which too often marred the story of 
Spanish exploration in the New World. 

For two weeks after the Pinta's desertion Columbus skirted slowly along 
the coast of Cuba eastwardly till he doubled the cape. Had he only kept on 
what was now a westerly course he would have discovered Mexico. But it was 
not to be. Before sailing he lured on board six men, seven women, and three 
children, a proceeding which nothing can justify. Taking a southwesterly 
course, on Wednesday, December 5th, Columbus discovered Haiti and San 
Domingo, which he called Hispaniola, or Little Spain. The next day he 
discovered the island Tortuga, and at once returned to Haiti, exploring the 
island ; there, owing to disobedience of orders, on Christmas morning, between 
midnight and dawn, the Santa Maria was wrecked upon a sand-bank, near the 
present site of Port au Paix. A sorry Christmas for Columbus, indeed ! 

The situation was now critical. The Pinta, with her mutinous commander 


and crew, was gone ; the Santa Maria was a wreck. But one little vessel 
remained, the little, undecked Nina. Suppose she should be lost, too ? — how 
would Spain ever know of his grand discoveries ? Two things were necessary : 
he must at once set out on his return voyage, and some men must be left 
behind. The first thing he did was to build, on a bay now known as Caracola, 
a fort, using the timbers of the wrecked Santa Maria. In this he placed thirty- 
nine men. Nature would surely give them all the shelter and provisions they 


It was not until Friday, January 4, 1493, that the weather was sufficiently 
favorable so that Columbus could hoist sail and stand out of the harbor of the 
Villa de Navidad, as he named the fort, because of his shipwreck, which 
occurred on the day of the Nativity. Two days later the ship Pinta was encoun- 
tered. Pinzon on the first opportunity boarded the Nina, and endeavored, 
but unsuccessfully, to explain his desertion and satisfy the admiral. The two 
vessels put into a harbor on the island of Cuba for repairs, and continued to 
sail along the coast, now and then making a harbor. On Wednesday, the i6th 
day of January, 1493, they bade farewell to the Queen of the Antilles, and then 
the prows of the Nina and the Pinta, the latter the slower sailer because of an 
unsound mast, were turned toward Spain, 1450 leagues away. 

It is not possible within the limits of this chapter to follow Columbus from 
day to day as he sails a sea now turbulent and tempestuous, as if to show its 
other side, in marked contrast to the soft airs and smooth waters that had 
greeted the voyagers when their purpose held — 

"To sail beyond the sunset and the baths 
Of all the western stars." 

Nor can we follow with minuteness Columbus in his subsequent career. He had 
made the greatest discovery of his or any other age : he had found the New 
World, and this, more than anything else, has to do with " The Story of America." 
It was on Friday, March 15, 1493, just seven months and twelve days aftei 
leaving Palos, that Columbus dropped anchor near the island of Saltes. It was 
not until the middle of April that he reached Barcelona, where the Spanish 
Court was sitting. As he journeyed to Court his procession was a most 
imposing one as it thronged the streets, his Indians leading the line, with birds 
of brilliant plumage, the skins of unknown animals, strange plants and orna- 
ments from the persons of the dusky natives shimmering in the air. When he 
reached the Alcazar or palace of the Moorish Kings, where Ferdinand and 
Isabella were seated on thrones, the sovereigns rose and received him standingf. 
Then they commanded him to sit, and learned from him the story of his discovery. 
Then and there the sovereigns confirmed all the dignities previously bestowed. 


The rejoicing over, the good news spread everywhere, and Columbus was 
the hero of the civilized world. Ferdinand and Isabella at once addressed 
themselves to the task of preserving and extending their conquests, and a fleet 
of seventeen vessels and fifteen hundred men was organized to prosecute 
further discovery. It was on September 25, 1493, that Columbus set sail with 
his fleet. On the 3d of November he sighted land, a small, mountainous island, 
which Columbus called Dominica, after Sunday, the day of discovery. Then 
again they set sail, and in two weeks discovered several islands in the Caribbean 
waters. It was not till November 27th that Columbus arrived in the harbor of 
La Navidad. He fired a salute, but there was no response. On landing the 
next morning, he found the fortress gone to pieces and the tools scattered, with 
evidences of fire. Buried bodies were discovered — twelve corpses — those of 
white men. Of the forty who had been left there, not one was present to tell 
the tale. But all was soon revealed, and a harrowing, sorrowful tale it was. 
From a friendly chief Guacanagari — whom Columbus at first suspected of 
treachery, and was never quite satisfied of his innocence — it was learned that 
mutiny, perfidy, and lust had aroused resentments and produced quarrels, 
resulting in a division into two parties, who, separating and wandering off, were 
easily overwhelmed by the superior numbers of the incensed natives. 

Having discovered the Windward Islands, Jamaica, and Porto Rico, he 
founded a new colony in Hispaniola (Haiti or San Domingo), which he named 
Isabella, in honor of his queen. The place had a finer harbor than the ill-fated 
port of the Nativity. He named his brother Bartolommeo lieutenant governor, 
to govern when he should be absent on his explorations. On February 2, 
1494, Columbus sent back to Spain twelve caravels under the command of 
Antonio de Torres, retaining the other five for the use of the colony, with which 
he remained. The vessels carried specimens of gold and samples of the rarest 
and most notable plants. 

Besides these, the ships carried to Spain five hundred Indian prisoners, who, 
the admiral wrote, might be sold as slaves at Seville — an act which places an 
indelible stain upon the brilliant renown of the great admiral : that one inhuman 
act admits of no palliation whatever. 

Of the troubles that ensued it is impossible to give any account in detail. 
Men returning, disappointed at not finding themselves enriched, complained of 
Columbus as a deceiver, and he was charged with cruelty, and, indeed, there was 
scarcely a crime that presumably was not laid at his door. Then troubles broke 
out in the colony ; the friar, incensed at Columbus, excommunicated him, and the 
admiral, in return, cut off his rations. Then the men, in the absence of Columbus, 
off on trips of exploration, gave way to rapine and passion, and the poor natives 
had no other means than flight to save their wives and daughters. Matters 
proceeded from bad to worse, the colony growing weaker through dissension. 



Finally four vessels from Spain arrived at Isabella, in October, 1495, laden with 
welcome supplies. These were in charge of Torres, who was accompanied by 
a royal commissioner, Aquado, who was empowered to make full investigation 
of the charges brought against Columbus. It was evident to the admiral that 
he should take early occasion to return to Spain and make explanation to his 
sovereigns. Accordingly, in the spring of 1496, Columbus set sail for Cadiz, 
where he arrived on June 11, 1496. He was well received, and was successful 
in defending himself against the many charges and the clamor raised against 
him. Ships for a third voyage 
were promised him, but it was 
not until the late spring of 1498 
that the expedition was ready for 


On May 30, 1498, with six 
ships, carrying two hundred men, 
besides sailors, Columbus set out 
on his third expedition. Taking 
a more southerly course, Colum- 
bus discovered the mouth of the 
Orinoco, which he imagined to 
be the great river Gihon, . men- 
tioned in the Bible (Genesis ii, 13) 
as the second river of Paradise; 
so sadly were our admiral's geo- 
graphy and topography awry ! 
Columbus also discovered the 
coast of Para and the islands of 
Trinidad, Margarita, and Cabaqua, 
and then bore awayforHispaniola. 

It was the old story told over again, with sickening disappointment. He 
found the colony was more disorganized than ever. For more than two years 
Columbus did his best to remedy the fortunes of the colony. At last an 
insurrection broke out. It was necessary to act promptly and decisively. Seven 
ringleaders were hanged and five more were sentenced to death. At this time 
the whole colony was surprised by the arrival at St. Domingo of Francisco de 
Bobadilla, sent out by Ferdinand and Isabella as governor, and bearing 
authority to receive from Columbus the surrender of all fortresses and public 
property. Calumny had done its work ! Bobadilla then released the five 




men under sentence of death, and finally, when Columbus and Bartholo- 
mew arrived at St. Domingo, Bobadilla caused them both to be put in 
chains, to be sent to Spain. Seldom has a more touching, more cruel, more 
pathetic picture been presented in the world's sad history of cruelty and 

Shocked as the master of the ship was at the spectacle of Columbus in 
irons, he would have taken them off, but Columbus would not allow it ; those 
bracelets should never come off but at the command of his Sovereigns ! It was 
early in October, 1500, that the ships with the three prisoners, Columbus and 


his brothers, Bartholomew and Diego, left Isabella. On the 25th of November, 
after an unusually comfortable passage, the vessels entered the harbor of Cadiz. 
The sight of the venerable form of Columbus in chains as he passed through 
the streets of Cadiz, where he had been greeted with all the applause of a 
conqueror, was more than the public would suffer. Long and loud were the 
indignant protests that voiced the popular feeling. The news of the state of 
affairs coming to Isabella, a messenger was dispatched with all haste to Cadiz, 
commanding his instant release. When the poor broken-hearted admiral came 
into the queen's presence Isabella could not keep the tears back — while he, 


affected at the sight, threw himself at the feet of his sovereigns, his emotion 
bursting out in uncontrollable tears and sobs — and this was Columbus's 
reward for discovering a new world ! 


The rest is soon told. The acts of the miserable creature, Bobadilla, were 
instantly disapproved, and he was recalled, but was drowned on his way home. 
Columbus, however, was not allowed to return to Hispaniola, but after two 
years' waiting sailed from Cadiz, May 9, 1502, with four vessels and a hundred 
and fifty men, to search for a passage through the sea now known as the Gulf 
of Mexico. It was the middle of June when Columbus touched at San 
Domingo, where he was not permitted to land. He set sail, and was dragged 
by the currents near Cuba. Here he reached the little island of Guanaja, 
opposite Honduras, and voyaged along the Mosquito coast, having discovered 
the mainland, of which he took possession. After suffering from famine and 
many other forms of hardship, he went to Jamaica and passed a terrible year 
upon that wild coast. In June, 1504, provision was made for returning to 
Spain, and on November 7th of that year, after a stormy voyage and narrow 
escape from shipwreck, Columbus landed at San Lucar de Barrameda, and 
made his way to Seville. He found himself without his best friend and pro- 
tector, for Isabella was then on her death-bed. Nineteen days later she 
breathed her last. Ferdinand would do nothing for him. A year and a half of 
poverty and disappointment followed, and then his kindliest friend. Death, came 
to his relief and his sorrows were at an end. Columbus died on Ascension 
Day, May 20, 1506, at Valladolid, in the act of repeating. Pater, in manus tuas 
depono spiritum inezmi, — "Lord, into Thy hands I commit my spirit." Death 
did not end his voyages. His remains, first deposited in the Monastery of 
St. Francis, were transferred, in 15 13, to the Carthusian Monastery, of Las 
Cuevas. In 1536 his body, with that of his son, Diego, was removed to Hispa- 
niola and placed in the cathedral of San Domingo, where it is believed, and 
pretty nearly certain, they were recently discovered. There seems no sufificient 
evidence that they were ever taken to Havana. 

Thus passed away the greatest of all discoverers, a man noble in purpose, 
daring in action, not without serious faults, but one inspired by deep religious 
feeling, and whose character must be leniently measured by the spirit of the age 
in which he lived. He received from his country not even the reward of the 
flattering courtier, for he was deprived of the honors his due, and for which the 
royal word had gone forth ; and in the end, when the weight of years was upon 
him and there was nothing more he could discover, he was allowed by Ferdinand 
to die in poverty, "with no place to repair to except an inn." But if Ferdinand 
was not a royal giver Columbus was more than one. For the world will never 


forget the inscription that, for very shame, was placed upon a marble tomb over 
his remains — he was now seven years dead — and which reads : — 

" A Castilla y a Leon 
Nuevo mundo dio Colon." 
To Castile and Leon Columbus gave a new world. 

As to the character of Columbus, there is wanting space here for consider- 
ing the subject at any length ; nor does it at all seem necessary. Time has 
given the great navigator a character for courage, daring, and endurance, which 
no modern historian can take from him — least of all can the statement, that the 
falsification of the record of his voyage was reprehensible, stand. It was no 
more reprehensible than the act of Washington in deceiving the enemy at 
Princeton ; and in Columbus's case his foes were the scriptural ones " of his own 
household." Living in an age when buccaneering was honorable and piracy 
reputable, it will not do to gauge Columbus by the standard of our day. It is 
sufficient to say that he was great, in the fact that he put in practice what others 
had only dreamed of Aristotle was sure of the spheroidicity of the earth, and 
was certain that " strange lands " lay to the west : Columbus sailed and fotmd ; 
— he went, he saw, he conquered. And these pages cannot better be brought 
to a close than by quoting what one of the most thoughtful of recent poets, 
Arthur Hugh Clough, has expressed in his lines, prompted no doubt by his visit 
to this country : — 

" What if wise men had, as far back as Ptolemy, 

Judged that the earth like an orange was round. 

None of them ever said, ' Come along, follow me, 

Sail to the West and the East will be found ' 

Many a day before 

Ever they'd come ashore, 

From the ' San Salvador,' 

Sadder and wiser men, 

They'd have turned back again ; 

And that he did not, but did cross the sea, 

Is a pure wonder, I must say, to me. ' ' 

M. H. B. 




O SOONER had the news of the successful results achieved 
by Columbus reached Spain, than it spread like wild-fire 
^ through the then civilized world. The three other great 
maritime powers, — Portugal, England, and France, — were es- 
pecially aroused to discover, if possible, lands for themselves. 
On the one side were Ferdinand and Isabella, who were 
determined to acquire and hold "the strange lands to the 
west," whose possession had been guaranteed them by the 
Pope. On the other hand, there were the three other great powers, with whom 
desire of conquest and dominion existed no less strongly than with Spain. 
These nations were resolved to do all that lay in their power to acquire 
dominion ; whatever difficulty might arise with Spain could be settled later. 

The first country to compete with Spain in western discovery was England, 
and the first one to follow in the footsteps of Columbus was John Cabot; who, 
with his son Sebastian, was destined to make important discoveries which 
would hand the name of Cabot down to history as surely as that of the great 
pioneer discoverer, Columbus, himself 

It was as early as 1492 that Senor Puebla, then the Spanish Ambassador 
to the Court of England, wrote to his Sovereigns that "a person had come, 
like Columbus, to propose to the King of England an enterprise like that of 
the Indies." The Spanish King immediately instructed his minister that he 
should inform Henry VII that the prior claims of Spain and Portugal would be 
interfered with if he commissioned any such adventurer. But the warning 
came too late. 

It is possible that the unsuccessful mission of Bartholomew Columbus to 
England, while the future Admiral was besieging the Spanish Court, may have 
been the means of arousing in John Cabot's mind a desire to test the truth of 
the new theory of a westward path to the Indies. When the accomplished feat 
of the first voyage to the West Indies fired the imagination of Europe and 
became the chief topic of interest among the maritime nations, even cool- 
4 49 


blooded England was measurably excited, and her parsimonious King yielded 
to the urgent prayers of a Genoese navigator, and authorized John Cabot and his 
three sons "to sail to the East, West, or North, with five ships, carrying the 
English flag, to seek and discover all the islands, countries, regions, or provinces 
of pagans in whatever part of the world." We do not learn that this generous 
permission to sail and discover unknown countries was accompanied by anything 
more than a meagre provision for carrying it out, although the King in return 
for the commission given and the single vessel equipped was to have one-fifth 
of the profits of the voyage. According to at least one authority, Cabot had a 
little fleet of three or four vessels fitted out by private enterprise, "wheryn 
dyvers merchaunts as well of London as Bristowe aventured goodes and 
sleight merchaundise wh departed from the West cuntrey in the begynnyng 
of somer — ." We are only sure, however, of one vessel, the Matthews, which 
left Bristol in May of 1497. 

Choosing the most probable of several vague accounts of Cabot's course in 
starting out, we find the sturdy adventurer, with his son and eighteen followers, 
standing to the northward, after leaving the Irish coast, and then westerly into 
the unknown sea. The plan was that which Columbus followed, when he sailed 
from the Island of Ferro in the Canaries, of striking a certain parallel of latitude 
and sticking to it. The transatlantic liners of to-day call that "great-circle 

We have absolutely no record of the month or more spent upon the 
outward course. What strange experiences the Gulf Stream or the Labrador 
current presented to Cabot we can only surmise. There were no summer isles 
and turquoise seas for him. Instead of the song birds, the spicy breezes and 
silver sands that Columbus found, his less fortunate countryman came upon the 
forbidding coast of Labrador, bleak even in the summer time, where he saw no 
human beings. 

It was on the 24th of June, 1497, that those on board of the Matthews 
unexpectedly caught sight of that strange, unknown land. They had no more 
notion than had Columbus of the magnitude of the discovery. This was to their 
appreciation no new world, but rather the extreme coast of the kingdom of the 
Grand Khan — a remote and desolate shore of India. But their imagination 
peopled it with strange beings ; demons, griffins, and all the uncouth creatures 
of mediaeval mythology dwelt there with the bear and the walrus. If the South 
was the scene of brighter illusions, of kingdoms where the rulers lived in golden 
halls and fountains which could confer upon the bather the gift of perpetual 
youth, the glamour and legend which the cold crags of the North conjured up 
were not less characteristic. Haunted islands and capes, where the clamor of 
men's voices were heard at night, were known to all the sailors and pilots that 
followed after the Cabots. 



The land that John Cabot first reached, wherever it was, he called " Terra 
Firma." There he planted the royal standard of England, after which he seems 
to have sailed southward ; presumably to reverse the course by which he came 
over. Peter Martyr, in relating the wonders that Cabot discovered, recounts 
that "in the seas thereabouts he found so great multitudes of certain Bigge 
fishes much like unto Tunies (which the inhabitants called baccalaos) that they 
sometimes stayed his shippes." 
Another writer stated that the ^" 
" Beares also be as bold which 
will not spare at mid-day to 
take your fish before your 
face." Coasting probably for 
three hundred leagues, with 
the land to starboard, Cabot 
seems to have discovered New- 
foundland on the mainland side 
and to have passed through 
the Gulf of St. Lawrence. He 
named several islands and 
prominent points, but the 
names are uncertain and the 
localities problematical. We 
only know that in his opinion 
England would no longer have 
to go to Iceland for her fish, 
and that he relied upon his 
crew to corroborate his state- 
ments when he returned to 
England, because his unsup- 
ported word would not have 
established the fact of his dis- 
coveries. Royalty is not al- 
ways liberal, despite the phrase 
"a royal giver" ; for we learn 

right here of the munificence of the English King, who gave this intrepid sailor 
and discoverer ten pounds as a reward for his labor, and afterwards added a 
yearly pension of twenty pounds, or $100. There is something pathetic in this 
fragmentary story of the second continent-finder. The little spasm of approval 
and excitement which his success occasioned soon died away, and even at its 
height was utterly inadequate to the magnitude of his work. The simple sailor 
must have made as great a show as possible upon the stipend granted by the 



king, for we read in a letter of the Venetian, Pasqualigo, that "he is dressed in 
silk and the English run after him like a madman." 

A second voyage of John and Sebastian Cabot to discover the island of 
Cipango, — that illusory land that Columbus had so hopefully sought, — was 
undertaken ; but a storm came up and one of the vessels was much damaged, 
finally seeking refuge in an Irish port. The others sailed into a fog of tradition 
and mystery as dense as that which wrapped the new-found land. We read 
that the expedition returned and that Sebastian Cabot lived to engage in further 
adventures, but of his father we know nothing further, the supposition being 
that he died upon this second expedition. Whether the third traditional voyage 
of Sebastian Cabot in the fifteenth century is fact or fable is not known. His 
subsequent career was mainly in the service of other sovereigns. 

The profits of the second voyage of the Cabots were so meagre as to fail 
to arouse any enthusiasm ; they were so small, in fact, that almost all interest 
died out in England. We read of one or two minor adventures, as those of 
Rut and Grube, the former of whom went to find the northern passage to 
Cathay, in which voyage his two ships encountered vast icebergs, by which one 
of them was lost and the other "durst go no further," and after visiting Cape 
Race returned to England. With these few exceptions England took no part 
in the great work of discovery, by which, little by little, with here an island 
and there a headland, now a river and then a bit of coast, the results of that 
great discovery were combined into that which came to be known, though not 
at first, as the New World. 

Yet Newfoundland was not deserted. Almost from the first the Breton 
and Basque fishermen, hardy and adventurous, frequented its shores. The Isle 
of Demons and other uncanny places in the new country were visited by 
fleets of French fishermen's boats, and plenteous cargoes of "Baccalois," or 
cod-fish, were taken eastward yearly for the Lenten market. 


The year 1500 was one of extreme importance in the making of New 
World history. The Spanish and Portuguese had already settled their dispute 
over the division of territory, the Pope's decision, to which all good Catholics 
in. that day yielded unhesitating obedience, having given to Spain all land dis- 
covered west of a certain meridian line, and to Portugal whatever lay to the 
eastward. In this way Portugal acquired her right to the Brazils ; and she also 
laid claim to Newfoundland. But the great element, time, had just begun to 
work. It was destined, under the ordering of Providence, that Spain and 
Portugal should make conquests, but not hold them. The Anglo-Saxon was 
only then a potentiality; his greatness was becoming recognized: he was yet to 
sweep the Atlantic, and, finally, settling on the stormy coast to the west, was 


to lay the foundations of a great empire, which was to make it possible to tell 
the inspiring and unique Story of America. 

We now come to Americus Vespucius, who was, singularly enough, and 
through no scheming of his own, to give his name to a country that should 
rightly have borne the name Columbia. And he was to do this though he 
headed but one expedition. The story must necessarily be brief 

Vespucius was a Florentine — another conspicuous illustration of the fact 
that he was to discover even as Columbus had discovered, but Italy was to reap 
no benefit. He was, indeed, to sow the seed, but the strong arms of others 
were to reap the harvest. On the 9th day of March, 1451, Vespucius was 
born, in the citj' of Florence. Of a noble but not at all wealthy family, he 
received a liberal education, devoting himself to astronomy and cosmography. 
The fortunes of business took him to Seville, where he became the agfent of 
the powerful Medici family. It was in 1490 that he became acquainted with 
Columbus, and was concerned in fitting out four caravels for voyages of dis- 
covery ; he took an active part in assisting Columbus in preparing for his 
second voyage. Vespucius makes the statement, which we are prepared to 
accept, that in 1497 he sailed, and probably as astronomer, with one of the 
numerous expeditions that the success of Columbus had called into existence, 
leaving Cadiz on the loth of May of that year. After twenty-seven days of 
sailing, the fleet, consisting of four vessels, reached "a coast which we thought 
to be that of a continent," traversing which they found themselves in "the 
finest harbor in the world." Just what that harbor is it is impossible to say. 
Some writers have placed it as far south as Campeachy Bay ; Chesapeake Bay 
has also been designated, Cape Charles being the point of entering. It is 
impossible, however, owing to Vespucius's loose manner of writing, to fix the 
place with any certainty. But he states that he doubled Cape Sable, the 
southernmost point on the peninsula of Florida. Vespucius tells us that 
while in " the finest harbor " mentioned the natives were very friendly, and 
implored the aid of the whites in an expedition against a fierce race of cannibals 
who had invaded at different times their coasts, carrying away human victims 
whom they sacrificed by the score. The island in question was one of the 
Bahamas, one hundred leagues away. The fleet accordingly bore away, the 
Spaniards being piloted by seven friendly Indians. The Spaniards arrived off 
an island called Iti, and landed. 

Here they encountered fierce cannibals, who fought bravely but unsuccess- 
fully against firearms. More than two hundred prisoners were made captive, 
seven of them being presented to the seven Indian guides. But nearly a year 
had passed since they had left Cadiz. The vessels were leaky ; it was time to 
return. Accordingly, leaving some point of the coast line of the United States, 
the fleet reached Cadiz on the 15th of October, 1498, with two hundred and 




twenty-two cannibal prisoners as slaves, where they were well received and 
sold their slaves for a good sum. 

Still following Vespucius's statement, on the i6th of May, 1499, he started 
on a second voyage in a fleet of three ships, under Alonzo de Ojeda. In this voy- 
age Ojeda reached the coast of Brazil, and being compelled to turn to the north 
because of the strong equatorial current, they went as far as Cayenne, thence to 
Para, Maracaibo, and Cape de la Vela. They also touched at Saint Domingo. 
The expedition returned to Cadiz on the 8th of September, 1500. Three 
months later Yanez Pinzon, taking a like course, discovered the greatest river 
on the earth, the Amazon, as will be seen a little further on in this chapter. 
Ojeda just missed that discovery. A year later, for some reason dissatisfied 
with his position — and Vespucius seems to have passed at pleasure from one 
command to another — he entered the service of Emanuel, King of Portugal, 
and took part in an expedition to the coast of Brazil. He wrote a careful 
account of this voyage, which he addressed to some member of the Medici 
family, to whom, in 1504, he sent a fuller narrative of his expedition, which 
was published at Strasbourg. This gave him high reputation as a navigator 
and original discoverer. 

Under the command of Coelho, a Portuguese navigator, on either May 
loth or June loth, 1503, a little squadron, with Vespucius, left the Tagus to 
discover, if possible, Malacca somewhere on the South American coast ; but 
through mishap the fleet was separated, and Vespucius, with his own vessel, 
and later joined by another, proceeded to Bahia. Thence they sailed for 
Lisbon, arriving there, after about a year's absence, on the i8th of June, 1504. 


In a letter written from Lisbon, in 1 504, to Rene, Duke of Lorraine, Ves- 
pucius gives an account of four voyages to the Indies, and says that the first 
expedition in which he took part sailed from Cadiz May 20, 1497, and returned 
in October, 1498. This letter has provoked endless discussions among his- 
torians as to the first discovery of the mainland of America, and it has been 
charged against Vespucius that after his return from his first voyage to Brazil 
he prepared a chart, giving his own name to that part of the country. It is high 
time the name of Vespucius was rid of this stain. It seems to be established 
that at this time the Duke Rene, of Lorraine, a scholar, and one deeply inter- 
ested in the discoveries of the age, caused a map to be prepared for him by an 
energetic young student of geography, a young man named Waldsee-Miiller, 
who innocently affixed the name America to the Brazil country. In this way the 
name became fixed, and was eventually taken up by others. It was not till 
nearly thirty years afterward — in 1535 — that the charge of discrediting Colum- 
bus by affixing his own name was brought, and most unjustly so, against Vespu- 


cius. Latter-day opinion acquits Vespucius of this charge, and now with the 
fact established, at this time of our Columbian anniversary, it should no more be 
brought against the distinguished navigator, whose discoveries were important, 
if he did not accomplish all that was expected, and that through no fault of his. 
Vespucius died in Seville, February 2, 151 2 — six years after his predecessor, 
the first Admiral, had passed away. 


The first man of importance to sail after Ojeda and Vespucci was Vincent 
Yenez Pinzon, who with his brother Ariez Pinzon, built four caravels, little deck- 
less or half-decked yachts, with which he sailed from Palos in the month of 
December, 1499. Going further south than his predecessors, Pinzon bore away 
toward the coast of Brazil, his first land being discovered at a point eight 
degrees north of the equator, near where the town of Pernambuco was afterwards 
built : he was the first Spaniard to cross the equinoctial line. We read that he 
lost sight of the pole-star, a circumstance which must have alarmed his sailors. 
More wonderful still, — most miraculous it must have seemed, — was the finding 
of a great flood of fresh water, at the Equator, out of sight of land, which 
induced the navigator to seek for a very large river, and he found it ! — for there 
was the mighty Amazon with its mouth a hundred miles wide and sending a 
great tide of fresh water a hundred miles out to sea. At their first landing 
Pinzon's sailors cut the names of their ships and of their sovereign on the trees 
and the rocks, while he took possession of the land in behalf of Spain. Here 
Pinzon seized some thirty Indians as slaves. The mighty Amazon, with its 
hundred-mile wide mouth, filled the explorers with wonder, as well it might. 
But the capturing of the Indians had created difficulties which endangered 
the safety of the fleet, so that Pinzon deemed it prudent to shorten his stay. 
Accordingly he set sail, and skirting along the coast discovered the Orinoco 
River and Trinidad ; after which they stood across to Hispaniola. A hurricane 
overtaking the little fleet nearly put an end to Pinzon's adventure, but he finally 
escaped with the loss of two of his vessejs. With the others he returned to 
Spain, only to find that Diego de Lepe had sailed after him and returned before 
him, with a report of the continuance of the South American continent far to 
the southward. 

Rightly Da Gama has no place here, save as a discoverer in time^ of 
discovery. A skilled Portuguese mariner, he coasted the eastern shores of 
Africa and visited India. In a second voyage he became involved in hostilities 
with the towns of the Malabar coast. In 1499 he was made Admiral of the 
Indies. He died at Cochin, India, Christmas Day, 1524. 

In 1499, the same year that the Pinzons and Lepe sailed, Pedro Alvarez de 
Cabral was commissioned by the Portuguese King, Emanuel, to follow Vasco da 



Gama's course and establish a trading station on the Malabar coast. Gomez, 
for some reason unknown, sailed by the way of the Cape Verde Islands, and 
taking from thence a much more westerly course than he intended, came, quite 
by accident, upon the Continent that Pinzon and Lepe had so lately left. 
Probably the real cause of Cabral's deflection from his original course was to 
avoid the calms of the Guinea shore. He had no sooner made the strange 
land than he resolved to cruise along it, and concluded that this wonderful 
coast was a continent. Despatching a ship home to Portugal with the news — 
with Caspar de Lemos in com- 
mand — he pursued his voyage. 
When Pinzon returned, therefore, 
he not only found that Lepe had 
been there before, but ascertained 
that Portugal pressed its prior 
claim to the coast he had discov- 
ered, based on the Pope's edict as 
well as the voyage of Cabral. 
The King of Portugal, on receiv- 
ing Cabral's message, soon des- 
patched a fleet to discover new 
territory for his crown ; and 
Americus Vespucius, till then in 
the Spanish service, accepted his 
overtures and went with the ex- 
pedition. When Caspar de 
Lemos started for Portugal with 
the news of the discovery of the 
southern continent, Cabral waited 
only a few days and then sailed 

The result of this second part 
of his voyage was the discovery 
of the Cape of Good Hope. There the fleet, heretofore so successful, was 
overtaken by a terrific storm, in the course of which four of his vessels went 
down, among them being one which was commanded by the navigator Bar- 
tholomew Diaz. The name which Cabral gave to this new country was Vera 
Cruz. The appellation by which it was afterwards known, of "Brazil" or "the 
Brazils," was taken from the dye wood found there ; an Arabic word being 
borrowed for the purpose. Columbus discovered the new world without 
knowing he had done so, although his work was in pursuance of carefully 
laid plans. Cabral however, like Vespucius off" the North American coast. 

I^Fram the MSS. of Psdro Barretto lie Resdiuda.) 


was aware from the first that the land he accidentally discovered was the main- 
land of a great continent. 

After his adventure at the Cape of Good Hope Cabral went as far as 
Hindostan and returned with laden ships, in which were immense quantities of 
spices, jewels and rare merchandise. " Verily," said Vespucius, who met him in 
the Cape Verde Islands upon his return voyage, "God has prospered King 
Emanuel." The same year [1500] that the Pinzons and Cabral sailed from 
their respective countries, Portugal sent the brothers Caspar and Miguel 
Cortereal on the first of a series of new expeditions to explore the Northwest. 
The papal line of demarcation between Spanish and Portuguese possessions was 
called Borgia's meridian, and the suspicion that Cabot's discoveries' lay to the 
eastward of this was sufficient cause for an expedition from Lisbon. These were 
unfortunate voyages, for although the region already explored by the Cabots 
was revisited and the flag of Portugal planted in the chill domain of the griffins 
and demons of Breton fancy, yet the wild men and curiosities which they brought 
home were but a sorry exchange for the lives that they cost. From Caspar 
Cortereal's second voyage he never returned. Two of his ships came home, 
and when his brother Miguel went in search of him his flag-ship also was lost, 
with all on board. 


Rodigero de Bastidas and John de la Cosa, sailing with two ships from 
Cadiz, in 1502, discovered the Gulf of Darien, which point Ojeda on his 
second voyage also touched, thence proceeding to the West Indies. Following 
these, after a number of smaller adventurers that tried their fortune upon 
the Atlantic, Juan de Soils and Vincent Yaiiez Pinzon sailed from the Port 
of Saville, six years later. They directed their two caravels toward the 
coast of Brazil, going to the thirty-fifth degree south latitude, where they 
discovered the Rio de la Plata, — the River of Silver, — which they at first 
called Paranaguaza. To them also is due the credit for the discovery of 
Yucatan, on this same voyage. De Solis was by some considered the very 
ablest navigator of his time, and his fame at last induced the King of Spain to 
appoint him to the command of two ships fitted out to discover a passage to the 
Spice Islands, or Moluccas, for which he sailed in October, five years after he 
and Pinzon had made the trip just alluded to. He returned to the la Plata 
River, which stream he entered in January, 15 16, but a tragic fate awaited him. 
Attempting to ascend the river and explore its banks, de Solis and a number of 
his crew were surprised and overpowered by the savages, who with barbaric 
heartlessness roasted and ate the unfortunate Spaniards in the sight of their 
companions on the vessels. The survivors, sickened and terrified by such a 
spectacle, lost no time in escaping from the land of these cannibals. They 
stopped only at Cape San Augustin, where they loaded their vessels with Brazil 


wood, and made the best of their way back to Europe with the sad news. 
In the following year Charles V sent Cordova, with a command of no men 
in three caravels, into that distant but no longer dreaded West, which still had 
its rewards for the adventurer. 

Upon the shore of Yucatan, where he first landed, at Cape Catoche, the 
Spaniards saw with surprise people who in one respect differed very greatly , 
from the natives who had so far been met with in the western voyages, inasmuch 
as they dressed in cotton and other fabrics, instead of going naked and painting 
their bodies. Not only in their dress but in their houses they exhibited signs 
of civilization that excited the wonder of Cordova and his men. 


Six years had passed after the death of Columbus, when, in 1512, Juan 
Ponce de Leon sailed from Puerto Rico in a northerly direction and discovered 
the peninsula which the Admiral had so nearly found upon his first voyage. 
De Leon first sighted land at about the boundary line separating Florida from 
Georgia. Landing, he took possession in the name of his sovereign, calling 
the new country Florida ; for it was in April, when the Cherokee roses, the wild 
jessamine, and all the multitudinous blossoms of a Floridian spring-time were 
filling the air with their fragrance. The discoverer of this paradise returned to 
Spain, and, obtaining the governorship of the new coast, undertook to enter 
upon its possession. But the savages were otherwise minded. The followers 
of Ponce de Leon were hunted through the tangled growth of the luxuriant 
forests or harassed in their defences behind the sand-dunes, till many of them 
had been killed, and their leader was glad to escape with the little remnant of 
his force. So he re-embarked, abandoning the country ; but the Spaniards 
claimed Florida from that day, in spite of a counter-claim which England 
presented in virtue of the discoveries of the Cabots. 

Later, in 1527, Pamphilo de Narvaes repeated Ponce de Leon's experiment, 
with a similar result. Then Ferdinand de Soto, who had been Governor of 
Cuba, obtained the title of Marquis of Florida, and, with nearly a thousand 
men and ten ships, he landed, in 1539, on the west coast of the peninsula. 
Five years later a little handful of broken, impoverished, beaten, disheartened 
Spaniards, less than a third of the number that had sailed so proudly to the 
conquest of Florida, left its shores to the sole occupancy of the jealous natives 
who inhabited it. There was no perpetual "fountain of youth" there for 
de Soto, but aeeinof, weariness, and disaster instead. 

When Charles V, of Spain, was beginning to feel the benefit of the con- 
quest in the New World, and Cortez and the Spanish captains and adventurers 
were planting the standard of Spain in rich territory, Francis the First, of France, 
chafed at the necessity of acknowledging the success of his rival. Francis was 


one of the most curious characters of European history, a combination of good 
and evil traits. Vanity, culture, sensibility to the influences of art and literature, 
hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness distinguished him. He was the friend of 
philosophers and of those who were far from being philosophers. 

From Florence came Verazzano, a navigator of repute who, unlike most of 
the new world-finders, was by birth a gentleman, descended from men who had 
been prominent in Florentine history. He was appointed to sail westward from 
Dieppe with four ships, in the year 1523, to seek a new passage to that Cathay 
which still lured the hopes of Christendom ; and in passing we may remark 
upon the curious irony of fortune which permitted Italy to lend to other nations 
the men who should win the greenest laurels as discoverers, when she herself 
was unable to claim a foot of territory in the new world. The beginning of 
Verazzano's voyage was puzzling enough. He had not proceeded far from 
Dieppe when a storm overtook him and he escaped with two of his vessels to 
Brittany ; thence he cruised against the Spaniards and finally, having but one 
vessel left out of the four with which he started, he set sail for the island of 
Madeira, and on the 17th of January, 1524, turned the prow of his caravel, the 
Dolphin, westward, to cross the Atlantic. After a passage of forty-five days, 
during which the strange experiences common to such an adventure were not 
lacking, he sighted a low shore where vast forests of pine and cypress rose from 
the sandy soil. This was not far from the present site of Wilmington, North 
Carolina. Among other things the Florentine noticed the presence of many 
fragrant plants " which yeeld most sweete savours farr from the shore." The 
savages who appeared on shore attracted the greatest attention from the voy- 
agers since they were not at all sure what their reception might be when they 
landed for the supply of water of which they stood in need. A boat approached 
as near as possible to the beach, when one of the sailors, taking some gifts as a 
propitiatory offering, jumped overboard and swam through the surf But as he 
neared the beach and saw the throng of screeching red men who awaited him 
his courage failed, and flinging his presents among them he endeavored to 
return ; but the savages succeeded in capturing him and returned to the sand, 
where in the sight of the terrified captive they built a great fire. Instead, how- 
ever, of cooking him, as he expected, they warmed and dried him, showed him 
every mark of affecdon, and then led him to the shore and let him go. At the 
next place they touched, the crew of the Dolphin showed their appreciation 
of the courtesy of the Indians by stealing one of their children. 

From the Carolinas Verazzano's course was northward along the coast, 
his first anchorage being in the bay of New York. Into that beautiful harbor, 
through the Narrows and under the green and tree-covered banks of Staten 
Island, he rowed, being met by numerous canoes filled with Indians who came 
out to welcome him. From New York the Dolphin followed the Long Island 


coast as far as Block Island, and from there to the harbor of Newport, where for 
fifteen days they rested, being entertained by two savage chiefs, who did all that 
lay in their power to dazzle the eyes of their white visitors with the signs of opu- 
lence, as evidenced by copper bracelets, wampum belts, the skins of wild 
beasts, etc. 

From here the little vessel steered along the New England coast, neither offi- 
cers nor seamen finding much to attract them. The Indians were suspicious and 
inhospitable, driving them back with shouts and showers of arrows when they 
ventured ashore in their boats. The seaboard of Maine was visited, and then 
the banks of Newfoundland, from which last point Verazzano, whose expedition 
was for us, perhaps, the most significant of all, sailed back for France, having 
explored the American coast from Hatteras to Newfoundland. 

In the following year Verazzano sailed again from France with a fleet, but 
no news of that expedition ever came back, and the mystery of its loss chilled 
the ardor for discovery in that country, so that for several years we hear of no 
further adventures to the new world. But in 1534 the persuasions of Admiral 
Chabot led to the issuing of a commission to Jacques Cartier, of St. Malo, who 
sailed from that port in the same year with two ships and one hundred and 
twenty-two men. He circumnavigated Newfoundland and explored the Gulf 
of St. Lawrence, and upon a second voyage sailed up the river of the same 
name for three hundred leagues, as far as the "great and swift Fall." On the 
site of Montreal he visited an Indian town. Having attempted the settlement 
for which he had been sent out, Cartier went back to France only to return with 
a larger expedition to Canada five years later. 

Half a century of discovery and adventure had elapsed. The map-makers 
of Europe during that time were kept busy by the changes made necessary 
from fresh data requiring the readjustment of old lines. From Columbus to 
Verazzano and Cartier, the whole coast, with a few exceptions, had been discov- 
ered, from the stony crags of Labrador to the Cape of Good Hope. It only 
remained now for the round-up of this magnificent hunt, which was accom- 
plished by the intrepid Magellan, prince of navigators, who, first turning west- 
wardly across the Pacific found the true path to far-off Cathay, which the mighty 
Genoese had sought so patiently, so grandly, so mistakenly, among the isles of 
June and the pearl banks of the Caribbean Sea. 

More than ordinary romance and interest attend the story of Vasco Nunez 
de Balboa. His appearance in the story of Spanish conquest in America, if 
not dignified, is captivating to the imagination. Martin Fernandez de Enciso, 
the geographer, sailed from St. Domingo to go to the relief of the explorer, 
Ojeda, who was dying of famine at San Sebastian. Among the stores in his 
vessel was a cask which contained something more valuable than the bread 
which it was invoiced as containing. When Enciso's ships had got fairly out 


to sea, Balboa crept out of his cask and presented himself to the commander, 
who could, after all, do nothing but scold, as it was then too late to return the 
fugitive to the creditors from whom he had taken that means of escaping. 

{From Painting in possession of the Marquis de Salamanca,') 

There were some threats of putting the culprit ashore on a small desert island, 
but that was not done, or one of the most popular stories of the New World 
would have been unwritten. 


But by the time the expedition in search of Ojeda had been abandoned 
and the followers of Enciso, reinforced by the haggard remnant of Ojeda's 
force, had reached the Gulf of Uraba, Balboa was no inconsiderable figure in 
that company. 

When the building of Santa Maria del Darien had commenced and 
Enciso' s temper provoked an insurrection, the stowaway, Balboa, was spoken 
of as his successor. The new-comers had encroached on the province of 
Nicuesa, who had been given a province in Darien, of which he was Governor, 
at the same time that Ojeda was similarly favored by King Ferdinand. Some 
of them, therefore, were for giving their allegiance to that Governor. The 
matter was settled by giving Balboa charge till Nicuesa should come. 

Nicuesa, embittered by famine and all manner of hardship, was rejected by 
the men of Darien when he finally came to them, and, turning his poor little 
brigantine seaward, was never heard from again. The cruelty shown to him at 
this time was afterward charged upon Balboa, but he was cleared by the court. 
He, however, showed little kindness to the irate Enciso, who went home to 
Spain an avowed enemy, complaining bitterly of the treatment he had received 
at the hands of the stowaway, whom, doubtless, he regretted not having 
"marooned," ?'. e., cast on a desert island, when he had the chance. 

Balboa next explored Darien. He married a native princess, thus making 
the old chief Comogre, her father, his firm friend. The first evidence which the 
Spaniards had of the superior claims of the people of Central America to civil- 
ization, was at Comogre's house, where "finely wrought floors and ceilings," a 
chapel occupied by ancestral mummies, and other signs of ease and leisure, 
appeared. But dearer than anything else was the sight of ornaments and flakes 
of virgin gold. This the Spaniards, with their usual propensity, acquired, and 
marveled at the strange tales which were told them of a land further to the west- 
ward where the people made bowls and cups of the yellow metal. This was 
the first news they had received of the kingdom of Peru. Balboa sent the 
whole of the story and a fifth of the gold to Spain as Ferdinand's share, but the 
ship went down on the voyage. Its arrival at Court would have done more 
than anything else to check the legal proceedings which were being commenced 
against him at home. However, Balboa was appointed Captain-General of 
Darien, by the Government of Hispaniola, which was some little comfort to 

Balboa next advanced across the Isthmus to find "the ereat sea" of which 
he had heard. On the twenty-fifth of September, in 15 13, after some trouble 
with the Indians, Vasco Nunez de Balboa stood where the poet Keats has 
made Cortez stand for some years past, on a peak in Darien, a mountain in the 
country of Ouarequa, and looked with the glad eyes of a discoverer on the blue 
waters of the mighty Pacific Ocean, that till then had had no herald in the 



Eastern world. Having shortly after this gained the Pacific coast, Balboa 
returned to Darien with the 
news of his great discovery, 


have gained him 

the gratitude and reward it mer- 
ited had not Pedrarias Davila 
succeeded in gaining the royal 
ear, and with a band of cava- 
liers, lured to new fields by the 
golden rumors of Peru, started 
for Darien. By his commission 
Davila was Admiral and Gov- 








ernor ; he was a leading 
figure on the Isthmus for 
sixteen years, and during 
that time committed so 
many crimes that the his- 
torian Oviedo computes 
that he would have to 
face two million souls at 
the judgment day ! Oviedo, like the humane Las Casas, believed that the 
Indians possessed souls ; and though we know how given the Spanish chronic- 


lers were to exaggeration and even downright mendacity, still we cannot doubt 


that enough murders were committed during the governorship of Davila to 

make even the conscience of a Spaniard feel uncomfortable. With the cava- 


Hers who came over with Davila were Oviedo, the historian already named, and 
Enciso, Balboa's old commander. The first thing that the jealous Davila did 
was to arrest Balboa on trumped-up charges, but they did not suffice to insure 
his conviction, and about this time the news of his great discoveries was 
beginning to turn the tide in Spain in his favor. It is to be said to Balboa's 
credit that he was very politic in his treatment of the Indians, using kindness 
where the new Governor practiced the utmost cruelty. As a result Balboa 
was regarded with friendly feelings and his rival hated, — a condition of affairs 
that could not fail to engender jealousy and danger. 

The Spanish bishop, who had come with the expedition, strove to patch up 
matters by suggesting a betrothal between Balboa and the daughter of the 
Governor. As the daughter was in Spain, and the alliance could not be con- 
summated for some time, Balboa consented, though we have no evidence that 
he really contemplated abandoning his beloved Indian wife. The proposed 
marriage was but one article in an important treaty, without which the younger 
man would have been crushed by the elder. 

Before long, however, Balboa again incurred the hatred of his enemy, and 
accepting a treacherous invitation to visit him, was arrested by his old comrade, 
Pizarro, and beheaded, at the age of forty-two, in the land with which his name and 
fame are indissolubly connected. It was just before his last quarrel with Davila, 
which resulted in his untimely end, that Balboa performed one of the most 
astonishing feats in Spanish-American annals : having taken his ships apart, 
he transported them across the Sierras, and launched them on the Pacific. 

Ferdinand de Soto was born in Xeres, Spain, in 1 500. We first meet with 
him, so far as American exploration is concerned, on accompanying his friend 
and patron Davila [previously referred to in the account of Balboa], on his 
expedition to Darien, of which Davila was governor, and whose offensive 
administration De Soto was the first to resist. He supported Hernandez in 
Nicaragua in 1527, who perished by the hand of Davila for not obeying his 
instructions. Withdrawing from the service of Davila, in 1528 he explored the 
coasts of Guatemala and Yucatan for 700 miles, in search of the strait which was 
supposed to connect the two oceans. In 1532, by special request of Pizarro. 
he joined him in his enterprise of conquering Peru. He was present at the 
seizure of the Peruvian Inca, and took part in the massacre which followed, 
berving the usual apprenticeship in butchery which hardened the hearts and made 
callous the nerves of those who followed the Sanish conquerors : but we are told 
he condemned the murder of the Inca Alahualpa, as well he might ! — Prescott has 
pictured the infamy of this crime in indelible colors. 

In 1537, De Soto was appointed Governor of Cuba, and two years later 
he crossed the Gulf of Mexico to attempt the conquest of Florida at his own 
expense, believing it to be the richest province yet discovered. Anchoring in 



Tampa Bay, May 25th, 1539, his route was through a country made hostile by 
the violence of the Spanish invader, Navarez. It was fighting all the time, but 
it was not conquest. He continued to march northward, reaching, October 
1 8th, 1540, the present site of Mobile, Alabama, and finally arriving at the 
mouth of the Savannah river. That country was then, as it is now, flat and 
sandy, its low forests of pine interspersed with cypress swamps and knolls where 
the live-oaks flourished. Frequent streams intersect portions of it. Traveling 

with such means as De Soto had at his 
disposal was very slow and trouble- 
some. From the Savannah he turned 
inland, fighting the Indians at almost 
every step, and overcoming mighty 

obstacles. With nearly a third of 
his men slain or lost, after a winter 
spent on the Yazoo, and disap- 
pointment following disappointment as he searched in vain, in his westward 
course, for the cities of gold which he saw in glowing but illusory vision, after 
a year and a half of unparalleled hardships and constant marching, in April, 
1542, he discovered the Mississippi, that mighty stream whose current flows for 
four thousand miles, upon which the eyes of a white man had never before 
rested. This he explored for a short distance above and belov/ Chickasaw 
Bluft's. Here his great career ended, for he died of malignant fever. To 



conceal his death from the Indians, his body was wrapped in a mantle, and 
in the stillness of midnight was silently sunk in the middle of the stream. His 
soldiers pronounced his eulogy by grieving for their loss, while the priests 
chanted the first requiem ever heard on the waters of the Mississippi. 





FEW years cover the beginnings of westward migration from 
Europe and tlie British Isles. Great impulses seem to be 
epidemic. The variety of causes which led to the planting of 
the American colonies became operative under diverse national 
and race conditions, so that they appear in history as the 
synchronous details of a common plan. As the reader follows 
these pages and appropriates all the wonderful and inspiring 
details of this unequaled record of four centuries, his interest 
will deepen and his amazement will keep pace with his interest. Finding a 
barren shore, broken only by the roar of the surf the cries of birds and animals, 
and the whoop of the Indian, he will lay down the volume, having discovered 
that civilization has followed the sun until the two oceans have met — connected 
by an unbroken tide of humanity ebbing and flowing from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific ; and westward the Star of Empire still takes its way ! 

A minute account of the social and political situations in the various 
kingdoms of Europe during the sixteenth century is not within the scope of 
this work, but it will be well to make a very brief statement of the questions 
that agitated Christendom at this time, and to notice the temper of the times. 

Cupidity and a love of adventure led the Spaniard to the conquest of the 
New World. Spain was then paramount in Europe, most powerful as well as 
most Catholic ; and the controlling motive of her sovereigns was conquest. 
It was not reformation nor revolution that sent her people over seas, but 



the love of power and wealth. In France, on the contrary, the spirit of 
revolt against established dogmas had led to persecution, so that the Hugue- 
nots were glad to find an asylum in the wilderness of the New World. 
Under these conditions the first colonies were attempted in the middle of 
the sixteenth century. Thirty years later a second planting, more general and 
more effectual, was begun. 

At that time Protestant England had a Catholic king. Henry of Navarre 
was upon the throne of France, which he had gained by his apostacy. Holland, 
the mighty little republic, was, under the wise leadership of John of Barne- 
veld and the States General, keeping Catholic Europe in check. Spain 
had been for years planning the conquest, of England "as a stepping- 
stone to the recovery of the Netherlands." It will be seen that the very 
causes which led emigrants to colonize the new continent forbade friendship 
or common interests between those of different races, the animosities of the 
Old World being very carefully transplanted to the new along with other 

France made the first attempt at colonization in 1555. One of the leaders 
in the enterprise was Coligny, the Huguenot admiral ; John Ribault and 
Laudoniere were masters of successive expeditions, seeking first the Florida 
coast and afterward establishing a settlement in Carolina. The French have 
seldom made good colonists, and those of Carolina were no exception to the 
general rule. It is probable that their quarrelsome dispositions would have 
destroyed them in time had not the Spanish claimants of the country, led by 
Menendez, hastened the event. This expedition of the Spaniards was not 
only noteworthy because of the cruel massacre of Ribault and his Huguenot 
followers, but also as the occasion of the founding of the most ancient of 
North American cities, St. Augustine. This occurred in 1564. 

The settlement of St. Augustine was followed by a hiatus in which nothing 
was done toward the colonization of America. This was due to the great 
religious war which was then raging in Europe. But in the interval the mis- 
sionary expeditions of the Spanish Franciscans, Ruyz and Espejio, in 1582, 
resulted in the building of Santa Fe in New Mexico. There had also been the 
establishment by adventurers of various fishing and trading stations, notably 
the one on the island of New Foundland. 

During the interval England had been steadily growing as a marine power, 
and her navigators had directed men's eyes anew towards the land where so 
many of their countrymen should find refuge. Finally Raleigh, following in 
the footsteps of his famous half-brother. Sir Humphrey Gilbert, obtained a 
patent from Queen Elizabeth, by the terms of which he should become pro- 
prietor of six hundred miles radially from any point which he might discover 
or take, provided he did not encroach upon territory otherwise granted by any 




Christian sovereign. As an auxiliary to this grant the queen gave her favorite 
a monopoly of the sale of sweet wines, by the profits of which business he was 
soon enabled to fit out what was known as the Lane expedition, that sailed 
under the command of Grenville in 1585, and landed at Roanoke, in Virginia. 


Grenville's first act upon landing was to rouse the animosity of the Indians 
by burning one of their villages and some cornfields, after which he left Lane, 
the Governor, with only an hundred and ten men and returned to England. 
Scarcity of provisions, a constant quarrel with their Indian neighbors, and a 

general feeling of discouragement 
led these first Virginia colonists to 
hail the navigator, Drake, who ap- 
peared on the coast a few months 
after, as a deliverer, and rejecting 
his offers of a vessel and provi- 
sions, they insisted upon returning 
with him to the mother country. 
Their departure was almost imme- 
diately followed by the arrival of 
reinforcements and supplies from 
Raleigh, brought by Grenville, who, 
when he found the place deserted, 
left fifteen men to guard it and 
himself proceeded southward to 
pillage the Spaniards of the West 


'^■Kc^/nmc'f^k an/-rucfrrT:\^-ft>^y^r . 

d^lcii feffK-wrtia^^j.-^.' «' Lir'Ai'-^ 

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■" ■ —'•■^ A second expedition, dis- 

IM'H . ; II I Ai ,L 1 ... I "M 1. Willi r u HAUKS. . . '■ 

(From the original drazuing in the British Museum, mnJe by John patched by Raleigrh, Included many 
White in isSs) ^ \ r •!• • 1 , 

women, that lamilies might be 
formed on the new soil and the colonists be satisfied to remain. This enter- 
prise was led by John White and eleven others, having a company charter. 
Upon arrival in Virginia White found only a skeleton to show where the 
former settlement had been. Indian treachery was assigned as the reason for 
its disappearance. Actuated probably by a nervous anxiety. White massacred 
some friendly Indians, under the impression that they were hostiles, and in 
August of 1587 returned to England for supplies, leaving behind him eighty- 
nine men, seventeen women, and eleven children, the youngest being his 
own granddaughter, Virginia Dare, the first white child born in America. 

White arrived in England to find the nation preparing for a struggle with 
Spain. His return to the colonies was therefore delayed. Raleigh, finding 



himself impoverished by the former expeditions, which had cost him 5^200,000, 
made an assignment, under his patent, to a company which inckided White and 
one Thomas Smith. A new fleet was procured, though with considerable 
trouble, and again the adventurers sought the Virginia coast, in 1590, only to 
find that the unfortunate settlement of three years before had been utterly wiped 
out of existence. So ended the first English attempt to settle America. 



About the same time de La Roche, a Marquis of Brittany, obtained from 
Henry IV of France a commission to take Canada. His company consisted 
largely of convicts and criminals. Following him came Chauvin de Chatte, but 
he accomplished little of permanent value. 

For some years following the last attempt of Raleigh to colonize Virginia, 
a desultory trade with the Indians of the coast was pursued, the staples being 
sassafras, tobacco, and furs. Richard Hakluyt, one of the assignees of Raleigh, 
was most active in promoting this traffic ; and among others employed was 
Bartholomew Gosnold, who, taking a more northerly course than the one 
usually followed, discovered Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard, 
and the Elizabeth Islands. Following Gosnold, in 160^, came Martin Prine, 
exploring Penobscot Bay, tracing the coast thence as far south as Martha's 

A French grant of the same year gave to Sieur de Monts, a Protestant, the 
whole of North America between the 40th and 46th parallels of north latitude. 
This domain was named Acadie. De Monts looked for a monopoly of the fur 
trade on what is now the New England and Canadian coast. His Lieutenants in 
the expeditions which he soon commenced, were Poutrincourt and Champlain, 
of whom the latter became famous for several discoveries, but in particular for 
the lake which bears his name. 

So it will be noticed that both the French and English were stretching out 
their hands to acquire the same territory. De Monts and Champlain settled 
their colony at St. Croix, but soon shifted, trying various points along the coast, 
and even attempted to inhabit Cape Cod, but were driven away by the savages. 
At last they transferred the setdement to Port Royal (Annapolis), where it 
endured for about a year. De Monts' commission or patent was recalled in 
1606, and but a little while previously Raleigh's grant was forfeited by 
attainder, he having been imprisoned by King James on a charge of 

The frequent failures to effect a permanent settlement in America did not 
discourage adventurers, whose desire to possess the new world seemed to grow 
stronger every year. Soon two new companies were incorporated under Royal 
charter, to be known as the First and Second Colonies of Virginia. The 


former was composed of London men, and the latter of Plymouth people 

The charter authorized the Companies to recruit and ship colonists, to 
engage in mining operations and the like, and to trade ; their exports to be free 
of duties for seven years and duties to be levied by themselves for their own 
use for a period of twenty years. They might also coin money and protect 
themselves araitist invasion. Their lands were held of the King. 


Hardly had the charter been granted when James began to make regu- 
lations or instructions for the government of the colonies, which gave a shadow of 
self rule, established the church of England, and decreed, among other things, 
that the fruits of their industries were to be held in common stock by the colo- 
nists for five years. 

These instructions, along with the names of the "Council" appointed by 
James for the government of the settlement, were carried, sealed in a tin box, by 
Captain Christopher Newport, who commanded the three vessels which con- 
stituted the initial venture of the London Company. An ill chosen band 
landed at last at Old Point Comfort, after a stormy voyage. Of the one hundred 
and five men there were forty-three "gentlemen ", twelve laborers, half a dozen 
mechanics and a number of soldiers. These quarreled during the voyage, so 
that John Smith, who it afterward appeared was one of the Councillors 
appointed by the Crown, entered Chesapeake Bay a prisoner, charged with con- 
spiracy. As might have been expected, this company did not fare well. They 
were consumed with laziness and jealousy ; there were cabals in the council and 
bickerings outside of it. Repeatedly the men tried to desert ; deaths were fre- 
quent and want stared them in the face. During this time it is hardly too 
much to say that the energy and wisdom of John Smith held the discouraged 
adventurers together. New arrivals of the same sort as the first added to, 
rather than diminished, the difficulties of the situation, so that at length Smith 
wrote that thirty workmen would be worth more than a thousand of such people 
as were being sent out. Not till the third lot of emigrants arrived did any 
women visit the new settlement, and then only two. The Indians became more 
and more troublesome, and the London Company, dissatisfied at receiving no 
returns from their investment, threatened to leave the settlers to shift for 

In 1609 the London Company succeeded in obtaining a new charter, by the 
terms of which it organized as a stock company, with officers chosen for life, 
a governor appointed by the Company's Council in England, and a territory 
extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific in a strip four hundred miles in width. 

During the interval between the granting of the charter and the organization 



of the new government anarchy reigned in Virginia. Smith did everything 

possible to restore order, but was at last wounded by an accidental explosion 

of powder and forced to return to England. At this time Jamestown, which was 

the name of the settlement, contained 

five hundred men, sixty dwellings, a fort, "^- «-«^ --- 

store and church. The people possessed 

a little live stock and about thirty acres 

of cultivated land, but as this was all 


inadequate to their support 

there followed what is known 

in the annals of the colony 

as the " Starving time." 

These earlier days in Virginia, while historically valuable only as a warning, 

have afforded an unusual share of romance, much of which centres about the 

unromantic name of Smith. The historian gladly concedes to this remarkable. 

man his full share of credit for the survival of one of the most ill assorted 


parties that ever attempted to settle a new land. But, added to what is known 
of Smith's adventures, struggles and escapes, is a great deal that rests solely 
upon his own authority, and much of this is probably apocryphal. One hesitates, 
for instance, to examine the Pocahontas legend too closely. There is no doubt 
of the existence of that aboriginal princess, of her marriage to the Englishman, 
Rolfe, of her enthusiastic reception by English society, or of the fact that some 
of her proud descendants live to-day in Virginia. But the pretty story of her 
devotion in saving the life of John Smith by protecting him with her own person 
when the club of the executioner was raised by chief Powhatan's order may be 
questioned. The account was not given in Smith's first narratives, and was 
subsequently written by him several years after the death of the lady in 
question. The multitude of hairbreadth escapes and marvelous adventures of 
which Smith made himself the centre, have laid him open to the suspicion of 
drawings a long^er bow than Powhatan himself. 


Clearing away the romance, and allowing all that is necessary to one who is 
so often the hero of his own narrative, it may not be uninteresting to briefly note 
some of the unquestioned services that John Smith performed for the struggling 
colony. We have seen how he arrived under suspicion and arrest, landing on 
the site of the little settlement which was destined to owe so much to him, like 
a felon. The opening of the hitherto secret instructions given under the broad 
seal of England, disclosed the fact that he was one of the Councillors named in 


that document. But it was his own clear head and strong courage rather than 
any royal appointment which won him the leadership in the affairs of the settle- 
ment. The quarrels and incompetency of the two governors, Wingfield and 
Ratcliffe, acted as a foil to display his superior quality. Although believing to 
the full in the common creed of his time, that the inducements of wealth were 
the only ones which would lead men to sacrifice home and comfort for the 
wilderness, yet he evinced a genius for hard work and a contempt for hard 
knocks worthy of a nobler purpose. 

It was in his first extended exploration of the Chickahominy that the Poca- 
hontas affair is supposed to have occurred. That he was taken prisoner then, 
and by some means escaped from his captors, is undeniable. And in passing, 
we may observe the curious misapprehension regarding the width of the Amer- 
ican continent which Smith's journey up the Chickahominy betrayed. He was 
actually looking for the Pacific ocean ! In keeping with this error is that clause 
in the American charters which would make the land grants like long, narrow 
ribbons reaching from ocean to ocean. 

In 1608 Smith ascended Chesapeake Bay and explored the larger rivers 
emptying into it. In an open boat, he traveled over two thousand miles on fresh 




water. He parleyed with the Mohawks, and returned to subdue the much more 
unmanageable colonists at Jamestown. When the half-starved and wholly- 
discouraged adventurers became mutinous, his methods of dealing with them 
were dictatorial and effectual. 

As already stated, Smith, upon his departure from Virginia, left nearly five 
hundred people there. In six months there remained only sixty. Many had 
died, some thirty or more seized a small vessel and sailed South on a piratical 
expedition, and a number wandered into the Indian country and never came 
back. Sick and disheartened, the remainder resolved to abandon Virginia and 
seek Newfoundland. Indeed, they had actually made all preparations and were 
starting upon their voyage, when they were met by the new governor from 
England, Lord De La War, with ships, recruits and provisions. 

The charter under which De La War assumed the government of Virginia 
was sufficiently liberal. It was that granted to Raleigh. But in the years that 
followed, the colony began to be prosperous and to excite the jealousy of the 
king — the same base, faithless king that had beheaded Raleigh. James began 
to conspire against the Virginia charter. It was too liberal : he dreaded the 
power it conferred. By 1620 colonists were pouring into Jamestown at the rate 
of a thousand a year, and thence being distributed through the country. 

To try to condense the early colonial history of Virginia to the limits of our 
space would result in a bare recital of names, or a repetition of the narrative of 
ignorance, vice, and want, occasionally relieved by some deed of devotion or 
daring. At first, in spite of the liberal provisions of the charter, the conditions 
were, to a large extent, those of vassalage. In 1623 James ordered the Com- 
pany's directors to surrender their charter, a demand which they naturally 
refused. He then brought suit against the Company, seized their papers so 
that they should have no defence, and finally, through foul means obtained a 
decision dissolving the Company. After that the government of the colony 
consisted in a governor and two councils, one of which sat in Virginia and the 
other in London. The governor and councils were by royal appointment. 

bacon's rebellion. 
Here we must be allowed to digress a little, to give the part played by one 
Nathaniel Bacon in the affairs of Virginia. It was the year 1676, when Bacon 
became the leader of a popular movement instituted by the people of Kent 
County, whose purpose was twofold — first, to protect themselves against the 
Indians, which the Government failed to do ; and, secondly, to resist the unjust 
taxes and the oppressive laws enacted by the existing legislative assembly, and 
also to recover their liberties lost under the arbitrary proceedings of Sir William 
Berkeley, then Governor. Bacon, a popular, quiet man, who had come over 
from England a year before, was selected as their leader by the people, who. 



enrolling themselves 300 strong, were led by Bacon against the Indians. Bacon's 
success increased the jealousy of Sir William, who, because of Bacon's irregular 
leadership, — he having no proper commission, — proclaimed Bacon a rebel. 
Finally, the people rose en masse, and demanded the dissolution of the old 
assembly, whose acts had caused so much trouble. Berkeley was forced to yield, 
and a new assembly was elected, who, 
condoninof Bacon's irregular leader- 
ship, promised him a regular com- 
mission as General. This commission 
Berkeley refused to issue, whereupon 
Bacon, assembling his forces, at the 
head of 500 men, appeared before 


' " Berkeley and demanded his commission, 
which Berkeley, who was a real coward, 
made haste to grant. But, as if repenting 
of his concession, Berkeley determined to 
oppose Bacon by force. In this he was 
unsuccessful, and in July of that year, 
Bacon entered Jamestown, the Capital, and 
burned the town. A little later, in October, Bacon died, and with him the 
"rebellion," or "popular uprising" as it had been variously called, subsided. 
Shortly afterward Berkeley was removed, for oppression and cruelty — a cruel, 
bloodthirsty man he was — and, sailing for England, died soon after his arrival, 
and the world's population of scoundrels was lessened by just one. 

While the curious mixture of cavalier and criminal was working out the 


early destinies of Virginia, a deeply religious element in Nottinghamshire and 
Yorkshire, England, were being educated by adversity for an adventure of a 
very different sort. At Scrooby, in 1606, a congregation of Separatists or 
Bronnists, who were ultra Puritans, used to meet secretly for worship at the 
house of their elder, William Brewster. King James, like most renegades, was a 
good persecutor, and he finally drove the Scrooby church to flee. Led by their 
pastor, that wisest and gendest of the Puritans, John Robinson, the litde com- 
pany escaped to Holland. The history of their ten years of sorrow and hard-' 
ship in Amsterdam and Leyden is too well known to require repetition here. 
It is impossible to overestimate the influence of such a man as Robinson, or to 
question the permanency of the impression which his character and teaching 
made upon his flock. 

Procuring a patent from the London company, the Scrooby-Leyden Sepa- 
ratists prepared for their adventure. Only about half the Holland company 
could get ready, and it fell to the pastor's lot to stay with those who were left 
behind. Embarking on the Speedwell, at Delft Haven, the colonists bade 
good-by to their friends and directed their course to England, where they 
were joined by the Mayflower. 


The Speedwell was found to be unseaworthy, so at length most of her 
passengers were transferred to the Mayflower, which proceeded on the voyage. 
To those who know how small a vessel of 1 80 tons is, the fact that one hundred 
souls, besides the crew, were upon a stormy ocean in her for more than si.xty 
days, will be as eloquent as any descripdon of their discomforts could be. The 
objecdve point was far to the southward of the land that they finally fell upon, 
which was not within the limits of their patent from the Virginia Company. But 
they dropped anchor in Cape Cod harbor, sick and weary with the voyage, and 
landed, giving thanks for their deliverance. With wisdom and frugality the 
plans for the home in the wilderness were made. 

Being too far North to be bound or protected by the provisions of the 
Virginia charter, the Pilgrims, as they called themselves, made a compact which 
was mutually protective. The terms of the contract foreshadowed republican 
institutions. Thus in character, purpose and outward surroundings the Puritan 
of Plymouth and the Cavalier of Jamestown differed essendally. The after 
development of the two settlements followed logically along these lines, empha- 
sizing these differences. 

Of the hundred souls left in Plymouth only fifty per cent, remained alive 
when the supplies from England came, a year later. Scurvy, famine and 
exposure to the severe climate had killed most of the weakest of them. Not a 
household but had suffered loss. Yet not one off'ered to go back. Men and 



women alike stood to their posts with a heroism that has never been excelled in 
the world's history. We read how they planted their corn in the graveyard 
when planting time came, so that the Indians might not discover the greatness 
of their loss. Cotton Mather, in writing of this dark time says, with that 
provoking, cold-blooded philosophy that can bear other people's troubles with 
equanimity : "If disease had not more easily fetched so many away to heaven," 
all must have died for lack ^ _ _, , 

of provisions. The Indians 
were at first very hostile, 
owing to depredations com- 
mitted by a previous navi- 
gator, but they were too few 
in number to be very trouble- 
some. Squanto, who became 
the interpreter, and Samoset, 
a sagamore from the east- 
ern coast, were their first 
friends among the red men. 
Squanto was their- tutor 
in husbandry and fishing. 
Then, too, came Hobba- 
mock, whom Longfellow has 
immortalized as the "friend 
of the white man." The 
names of those who formed 
this little colony have be- 
come household words all 
over the land. Miles Stan- 
dish, John Alden, Priscilla, 
Elder Brewster, Bradford, — 
where are these names not 
known ? 

Frugal as the Pilgrims 
were, and industrious, they 


found that their ine.xperience in planting maize, together with other drawbacks, 
kept them on the edge of starvation for several years. Clams became at one 
time the staple diet, and were about all that the settlers had to regale their 
friends with, when a new ship-load of those that had been left behind in Leyden, 

A description of Plymouth, given in 1626, shows the situation of the town : 
A broad street, "about a cannon shot of eight hundred yards long," bordered 



by the houses of hewn planks, followed by a brook down the hillside. A second 
road crossed the first, and at the intersection stood the Governor's house. Upon 


the mound known as "burial hill" was a 

building which served the double purpose of 

a fort and a church. A stockade surrounded 

the whole. At first the agricultural and other 

labors of the people had been communistic, in 

accordance with the conditions of the London 

Company's charter. But in 1624 this plan was 

done away with and the lands thereafter held separately. Still the people, 

unlike those of Virginia, continued to dwell in towns, and their habits in this 

respect descended to their children. 

■\ ^ -i^ 




The second New England colony was that of Massachusetts Bay, which 
was sent out by a company provided with a charter very much like that of Vir- 
ginia. The provisions of this patent allowed for the appointment of officers by 
the company, but it was not stated where the headquarters of the company were 
to be. This important oversight allowed the transplanting of the company, with 
officers, elective power, and other democratic rights, to New England. The 
company, which pretended to be a commercial organization, was really composed 
of Puritans, who, though not Separatists, were strict to the point of fanaticism. 
The leader of the first emigrants was John Endicott. His followers numbered 
less than a hundred souls, 
with which little force he 
planted Salem. The Salem 
colonists, though they had 
known less persecution and 
hardship than those of Ply- 
mouth, or perhaps for that 
reason, yet were more intol- 
erant and Quixotic in their 
rules for self government, 
in social observances, and 
especially in their dealings 
with people of other reli- 
gious sects. The transfer- 
ence of the government of 
the company, together with 
the addition of over eight 
hundred new colonists, was 
made in 1630. 

As the Massachusetts 
colonies grew they excited 
the jealousy or animosity of 
two very different classes of 
people. These were their 
Dutch neighbors and the Indians, 
with the aborigines was, in fact. 


The most serious of the early difficulties 
the effect of Dutch interference. These 
people had purchased the Connecticut river lands from the Pequots. The 
Pequots only held the territory by usurpation and the original owners obtained 
the Puritan protection, giving them a rival title. The enraged Pequots com- 
menced hostilities which were promptly resented by the Puritan Governor, 
Endicott, who led his men into the Indian country, punishing the assailants 
severely. This act, however necessary it may have been, laid the colony open 



to all the cruelty of a long-continued war, which lasted until the final rem- 
nant of the Pequot tribe had been extinguished. 

The war with Philip, Massasoit's 
son, occurred in 1675, when the col- 
ony was stronger and better able to 
bear the tax upon its vigor, but during the year in which it lasted the settle- 


merits were frightfully crippled. Six hundred houses had been burned, the 
fighting force of the English had been decimated, and the fruits of years of 
labor wasted. The whole difficulty arose from the Puritans' " lust for inflicting 
justice," and might have been avoided. 

One of the most significant, as well as beneficial, of early New England 
institutions was the "town meeting," which ranked next to " the meeting house 
worship " in importance to the colonist ; for while in one he indulged liberty of 
conscience, the other allowed him Hberty of speech. Having both his speech 
and his conscience under control, the Puritan took a sober delight in their 
indulorence. The town meeting was in the New Englander's blood, and it needed 
only the peculiar conditions of his new life to bring it out. His ancestors had had 
their Folkmotes where all questions of public policy and government were freely 
discussed. So it came natural to him to gather in unsmiling earnestness with his 
neighbors, and attend to their plans or suggest others for their mutual guidance 
and safety. This ventilation of grievances and expression of views did more, in 
all probability, to prepare for the part which New England should take in future 
political movements than any other one agency. 


The discovery of the Hudson River, and that of Lake Champlain occurred 
at nearly the same time, each discoverer immortalizing himself by the exploit. 
That of Hudson has, however, been of vastly more importance to America and 
the world than that of his French contemporary. 

Hudson was known as a great Arctic explorer prior to his discover}' of 
the site of America's metropolis. He had previously sailed under English 
patronage, but now he and his little " Half-Moon " were in the service of the 
Dutch East India Company, and in search of a northwest passage, which he 
essayed to find by way of Albany, but failed. At the same time Smith was 
searching the waters of the Chesapeake. In 16 14, the charter granting all of 
America between Virginia and Canada was received by the " Company of the 
New Netherlands " from the lately formed States General of Holland. The 
command of so magnificent a river system as that of the Hudson and its 
tributaries established almost at once the status and success of the Dutch 

The States General held complete control of their American dependency. 
They appointed governors and councillors and provided them with laws. 
Ordinarily, the people seemed to care as little to mix with politics as does the 
modern average New Yorker, a good deal of bad government being considered 
better than a little trouble. 

Once in a while a governor got in some difficulty over the Indian question, 
and called a council of citizens to help him, but ordinarily he was despotic. 


The colonists were content to wax fat without kicking. They were honest, 
shrewd, good-natured, tolerant bodies, as different from the New Englander 
as from the Vireinian, or as either of these neighbors was from the other. 
Primarily traders, they found themselves in one of the best trading grounds in 
the world, with nothing serious to prevent them from growing rich and 
multiplying. This they proceeded to do with less noise and more success than 
either of the other contemporary settlements. In the fifty years of Dutch rule, 
the population of New Amsterdam reached eight thousand souls. The 
character of the city was so cosmopolitan that it has been estimated that no 
less than twelve languages were spoken there. Free trade obtained, in 
contrast to the policy of New England and Virginia. The boundary difficulties 
with the Puritan colonies were a constant irritation, but were allowed to 
slumber when it was necessary to make common cause against the Indians, 


In the time of Petrus Stuyvesant, the last of the Dutch governors, the 
rivalry which existed between the English and Dutch nations regarding the 
trade of the new world led the treacherous Charles II of England to send an 
armament in a time of profound peace to take the colony of a friendly nation. 

Colonel Richard Nichols commanded the expedition. His orders caused 
him to stop at the Massachusetts Bay for reinforcements. The colonists there 
were reluctant to aid him, but those of Connecticut joined eagerly with the 
expedition, and Governor Winthrop took part in it. The colony passed, 
without a blow, with hardly a murmur on the part of the people, though 
considerably to the rage of Governor Stuyvesant, into the hands of the English, 
to be known thenceforth as New York. Notwithstanding the success of the 
Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, it was unquestionably a most important 
advantage in the after history of America that it should have fallen into the 
hands of the Encrlish. 

As a conservative element, the peaceful, prosperous Friend was of immense 
value in colonial development. The grant which William Penn obtained in 1681 
gave him a tract of forty thousand square miles between the estates of York 
and Baltimore. Penn's charter was in imitation of that granted to Maryland, 
with important differences. With the approval of Lord Baltimore, laws passed 
by the Maryland Assembly were valid, but the king reserved the right to approve 
the laws of Pennsylvania. The same principle was applied to the right of 
taxation. There was about fifty years between the two charters. 

The settlement of New Jersey by Quakers was that which first drew Penn's 
attention to America. In drawing up the plans for his projected State he did so 
in accordance with Quaker ideas, which in point of humanity were far in advance 
of the times. The declaration that governments exist for the sake of the 


governed, that the purpose of punishment is reformation, that justice to Indians 
as well as to white men should be considered, were startling in their novelty. 

The success of this enterprise was instant and remarkable. In three years 
the colony numbered eight thousand people. The applications for land poured 
in and the affairs of the colonists were wisely administered, and before the 
death of her great founder, Pennsylvania was firmly established. Education 
was a matter of care from the very start in Philadelphia, although throughout 
the rest of the state it was neglected for many years. Indian troubles were 
scarcely known. The great blot on the scutcheon of the Quaker colony was 
the use of white slaves, for whom Philadelphia became the chief market in the 
new world. Not less remarkable than the unity of time which characterized the 
planting of several American settlements was the unity of race into which 
they all finally merged, with few and slight exceptions, so that in after years 
all of the various lines of development which have been indicated in this 
chapter should combine to form a more complete national life. Penn made a 
treaty with the Indians, and kept it ; and herein lies the secret of his success. 
If only all treaties had been kept, what bloodshed might not have been 
avoided ! 





AFTER the colonists had forced the issue 
with fortune and had got more in touch 
with their new surroundings, they began 
to discover the fallacy of most of their 
first notions and to adjust themselves 
to the new problems as best they could. 
The day when the settlement of a new 
world could be regarded as an experi- 
ment with possible fabulous results was 
over. They had come to stay, and they 
understood that staying meant winning 
and winning- meant workingf. 
The early notion that great fortunes were waiting to be picked up in the New 
Land, and that gold and silver and precious stones were almost to be had for the 
asking, had given place to a settled conviction that intelligent labor only would 
enable the settler to retain his foothold. Aid from the mother countries could not 
be depended upon, precarious as it was, nor was it to be desired. There were 
object lessons in frugality and industry that the colonist had set before him 
every day ; lessons that he finally learned by heart. 

As has been very wisely said, the problem which confronted the new 
people was one of changed conditions. Whereas in England harvests were 
reckoned at their cost per acre, in America they were counted at their cost per 
man, because in the old country labor was plentiful and land scarce, and in the 
new it was just the reverse. So he who cultivated the soil after old country 
methods must, of necessity, find want oppressing him and starvation lurking 
with the wolves and bears in his forests. Successful farming must be " skim- 
ming" the plentiful new land. To cut and burn wood-land, cultivate grain 
between the stumps, and abandon old holdings for new, was the necessity of 
the hour. 

Elsewhere we will speak of the influence of a staple upon the social and 



political life of Virginia. The first staple was tobacco. The growth of rice in 
the south did not begin till some years after the establishment of tobacco ; and 
cotton culture was never really begun, except in a small way for domestic 
demands, till after independence was achieved, when the invention of Whitney's 
cotton gin had made it possible to minimize the immense labor of hand-cleaning. 

The cultivation of rice, which had previously been grown in Madagascar, 
began in South Carolina in 1696, when a planter named Thomas Smith got 
from the captain of a brigantine a bag of rice for seed. Smith had been in 
Madagascar, and the appearance of some black wet soil in his garden suggested 
to him the soil of the rice plantations on that island. The experiment was a 
complete and instant success. Smith's rice grew luxuriantly and multiplied 
so that he was able to provide his neighbors with seed. This at first they 
attempted to grow upon the higher ground, but shortly found that the swamps 
were better adapted for the staple. 

In three years from the time of the first distribution of seed Thomas Smith 
had been made Governor of the colony. The people of South Carolina who 
had borrowed a staple for years and who had not made the advance in pros- 
perity that other colonists had, at last were blessed with a product all their own, 
one which was perfectly adapted to the soil. They learned to husk the rice, 
at first by hand but afterwards by horse power and tide mills. Then rice culture 
began to spread to Georgia, to Virginia, even as far North as New Jersey, but 
nowhere did it succeed as well as in the Carolinas. Even to-day the people of 
that section have cause to bless the forethought of Smith and the head winds 
that blew the brirantine with her rice cargo into a harbor on that coast. 

Carolina also tried indigo growing, which became profitable about the 
middle of the i8th century. Miss Eliza Lucan, afterwards Mrs. Pinckney, 
mother of General Pinckney, deserves the credit of its introduction. 

The Northern farmer, from the first, cultivated only a few acres compared 
with the large Southern plantations. His efforts were confined to the produc- 
tion of wheat and corn. Indian corn was grown from the very earliest New 
England days ; the Indians had taught the white men their own method of 
manuring the corn hills by putting in each a codfish. Rye, little used as a food 
grain, was cultivated by certain Scotch and Irish settlers as a basis for whiskey. 
New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey were the great bread producers. In 
the year 1770, or thereabouts, the value of flour and bread exports reached 
$3,000,000. This was the result of a century and a half of patient, intelligent 

All along the northern coast the importance of the fisheries was felt, from 
the early French settlements on Newfoundland, that antedated any successful 
planting of colonists on the main land of North America, till the development of 
the great fisheries of New England. The astonishment of those who described 



the countr)' at an early period was occasioned by the teeming life, the marvelous 
fertility, of all creatures, either in the ocean or on the land. The immense 
schools of cod gave to the inhabitants of the coast employment which soon 
rose to the dignity of an industry. From Salem, Cape Cod and many other 
points, fleets of small vessels went and returned, till a generation of sailors who 
should accomplish more important voyages and adventures was bred on the 
fishing banks. 

One of the most curious chapters in the history of husbandry in the New 
World is that of the attempt to force a staple. Some one conceived the idea 


that the heavy duties that made the silk of France and Southern Europe so 
expensive might be avoided by raising the silk-worm and manufacturing the 
fabric in the British colonies. About 162^ the silk-worm was brought to 
Virginia, and a law was enacted making the planting of mulberry trees, the food 
of the silk-worm, compulsory. The House of Burgesses passed resolutions of 
the most exacting character. It also offered premiums for the production of 
silk, and in other ways endeavored to foster the new industry. It was required 
that every citizen should plant one mulberry tree to every ten acres of ground. 
Among the rewards offered was one of ten thousand pounds of tobacco for 



fifty pounds of silk. This was in 1658. That seemed to be a generous year 
with the Burgesses, for they also offered the same amount of tobacco for the 
production of a certain small quantity of wine from grapes grown in the colony. 
The silk laws were withdrawn in Virginia in 1666. 

Georgia, too, had a silk craze, and Pennsylvania and Delaware also went 
heavily into the production. Charles II wore a complete court dress of Amer- 
ican silk, which, it is said, must have cost its weight in gold to produce. The 
efforts to revive the silk industry were several times attempted, but without 
Except that we occasionally hear that some member of the British 


{Btdlt in 1034, Bdd/oril, Mass.] 

royal family was clad in American silk, we might almost doubt the existence of 
the industry. 

Vine planting and wine making were among the " encouraged " industries. 
All of these Utopian schemes for the acquisition of sudden wealth failed because 
they were not based upon any true appreciation of natural conditions in the 
New World. 

Fruits and vegetables were grown very early in the seventeenth century. 
In the latter part of the century a fresh impetus was given to horticulture by 
John Bartram, the Quaker, at Philadelphia. 


Horses and cattle, especially in the South, were allowed to run wild in the 
woods till the forests were full of them, and hunting this large game became a 
favorite amusement. Horses were so numerous in some places as to be a 
nuisance. New England adopted an old English custom, and the people herded 
their live stock in common, appointing general feeding places and overseers for 
it. The laws of England were such as to discourage sheep raising in the New 
World, and the wolves seconded the laws, but the farmers persisted, neverthc 
less, though they were not so successful in this as in some other pursuits. 

As soon as the immediate necessity for the guns and stockades of the town 
were removed, those of the more favored colonists of V^irginia who had obtained 
land grants began to separate, forming manorial estates and engaging in the 
production of staples, principal among which was tobacco. The tenants were 
practically serfs at first, and the introduction of slave labor made the proprietor 
even more independent, if possible, than he had been before, giving him 
authority almost absolute within his own domains, even to the power over 
human life. 

It has been truly said that "that which broke down representation by 
boroughs and made the parish a vast region with very little corporate unity, was 
the lighting upon a staple." Tobacco and rice were the responsible agents for 
Virginia's social and political conditions, which resulted in the production of 
strong, self-reliant, and brave, though impetuous and uncontrollable men. 

From the first, none of the great colonies bore so close a resemblance to 
England in the development of a feudal system as Virginia. The ownership of 
what would be to us vast tracts of land, was due to the way in which Virginia 
was settled. Men of no especial note held estates of ten, twenty, or thirty thou- 
sand acres. This was the result of the very rapid increase in the cultivation of 
the great staple. For a great many years the white servants were much more 
numerous than the blacks, and with indentured servitude, which was equal to 
slavery in all points but that of perpetuity ; then arose the great class distinctions, 
which were almost unknown in the New England colonies, although originally 
the rural Virginia land-owner and the New England settler were of the same 
class. The effect of environment on social development can nowhere be traced 
more distinctly than in the first two great English colonies in America. 

Town life, as remarked elsewhere, was not known in Virginia. Up to the 
time of the war for independence her largest towns numbered only a very few 
thousand souls — not more than many a Northern village. There were very few 
roads and very many water-ways, so that the trading vessels could reach the 
individual plantation much more easily than the plantations could reach each 
other. The English custom of entail was early transplanted to Virginia, with 
some adaptations to suit the new conditions. The abolition of this system was 
due to Thomas Jefferson, as late as 1776. 



The Virginia substitute for the New England town meeting, committees, 
etc., was the vestry and parisli system, modeled in part after the English parish. 
The vestrymen in each parish, however, were twelve representatives chosen 
by the people of the parish. This at least was the case at first, till by obtaining 
power to fill vacancies they became practically self-elective. The vestrymen 
were apportioners and collectors of taxes, overseers of the poor, and governors 
of the affairs of the church. Their presiding officer was the minister. 

Mr. John Fiske, in his admirable text-book, "Civil Government in the 
United States,'" makes this observation: "In New England, the township was 
the unit of representation, but in Virginia the parish was not the unit of repre- 
sentation ; the county was that unit. In the colonial legislature of Virginia the 
representatives sat not for parishes but for counties." The county was arbitrarily 


defined as to physical limits, nor were any particular number of parishes required 
to constitute it. There might be one parish or a dozen. The machinery of 
county government consisted principally of a court which met once a month in 
some central place, where a court-house was erected. There it tried minor 
criminal offences and major civil actions. The court also was one of probate, 
and had the supervision of highways, appointing the necessary servants and 
officials. Like the parishes, the county courts, in course of time, became 

The taxes, like many other obligations, were paid in tobacco, of which the 
sheriff was the collector and custodian. He also presided at elections for 
representatives to the colonial assembly. 

There were eight justices of the peace in each county. These were 



nominated by the court {i. e., by their own body), and appointed by the 
Governor. The election, or rather appointment of the sheriff was conducted in 
the same way practically, so that we see how little voice the people really had 
in either parochial or county government. 

On July 30, 1619, Virginia's first General Assembly convened; as the 
English historian said, "A House of Burgesses broke out in Virginia." These 
Burgesses were at first the representatives of plantations, of which each chose 
two. The duty of the Assembly was to counsel the Governor ; or, more nearly 
in accordance with the facts, to keep him in check and make his life miserable. 
In 1634 the Burgesses first sat for counties, upon the new political formation. 

So it will be seen that the earliest form of representative government 
in the Colonies began in Virginia ; and 
that it was not government by the voice 
of the people, is apparent. The poor 
whites, or "white trash," as they were 
called at a later day, had little or no 
voice. The rights and liberties that 
were contended for were those of the 
rich and powerful. As in England, 
civil liberty began with the barons and 
did not extend to those in the humbler 
walks of life, so in Virginia, it was the 
planter, the proprietor of acres, the 
owner of slaves, who first guarded his 
own rights against despotism. 

In New England, on the contrary, 
such a thing as caste was hardly known. 
Town life induced a development very 
different from that of plantation life. 
Perhaps the individual was less aggres- 
sively independent. Perhaps the long course of bickering and obstruction on 
the part of Virginia's Burgesses against her governors, was as good a school 
as possible for future essays — the direction of national liberty ; but it is certain 
that New England could show a high level of intelligence all along the line. 
She had no " poor whites." While the distinctly influential class was not so 
prominently developed, each man had influence. He counted one, always. 

The practice of sending criminals and the offscouring of England to 
the Colonies under articles of bondage became established. Men were sold, 
some voluntarily, and others by force, for a term of years. The broken-down 
gentlemen, soldiers, and adventurers who composed the bulk of the inhabitants, 
found this system of white slavery to their temporary advantage, and the 




exodus of those creatures from London was doubtless a relief to the authorities 

Sandys, the Treasurer of the Virginia Company, sent, in 1619, thirty young 
women, whose moral characters were vouched for, who were bought as wives 
by the colonists upon their arrival ; the price of passage being the value set 
upon each damsel. 

As the years went by, the evil of this system of bondage became more 
and more apparent, and spread to other parts of the country. Philadelphia, the 


Quaker refuge, was a white slave mart. Such terms as "Voluntary sales," 
" Redemptioners," "Soul Drivers," "Kids," "Free Willers," "Trepanning," 
etc., were familiar throughout the new land. 

Kidnapping in England, for the Colonies, was so common that it became 
the cause of violent agitation. Even youth of rank were not exempt from 
the danger and degradation. Those who carried on the business of trepan- 
ning were known as "Spirits." Criminals under sentence of death, might 
have the sentence commuted to seven years' servitude. Artisans and laborers 


who were unemployed could be "retained" by force, under certain conditions. 
Of course, these bond-servants were a source of moral and social trouble and 
danger to the colonists. 

The usual impression regarding the Puritans is that they were austere, 
unsmiling men, with much hard fanaticism and little of the milk of human 
kindness. That they did suffer much and cause others to suffer for conscience 
sake is undoubtedly true, but no special pleading should be required to convince 
those who read the early history of New England carefully, that the highest of 
Christian virtues flourished quite as much in the Boston of the seventeenth 
century as in the Boston of the eighteenth or nineteenth. 

The good John Winthrop, first Governor of Massachusetts, who was firm 
and even severe in his administration of the government, so that he frequently 
felt the results of unpopularity, was, as one writer calls him, "most amiable" in 
his private character. A neighbor, accused of stealing from Winthrop' s wood- 
pile, was brought before him. The Governor had announced that he would 
take such measures that the thief should never be able to rob him aeain, so, of 
course, the case attracted attention. " You have taken my wood," said Winthrop, 
in effect; "You have my permission to keep on doing so. Help yourself as 
long as the winter lasts." 

We can imagine the scene when his servant, who used to be sent with 
messages to the poorer neighbors about dinner time, returned from one of his 
visits. The Governor's interest quickened as he listened to the details of the 
meals at which the servant had acted as a spy. Mr. So-and-so was without 
meat, this one lacked bread, and that other ate his bread dry. The good man 
expressed his sympathy in the best possible way, by sharing his larder. 

The man who had been one of Winthrop's angry opponents owned himself 
vanquished when he received from the object of his animosity a cow, in his 
time of need. In a quaint fashion he expressed himself: "Sir, by overcoming 
yourself you have overcome me." 

The best early history of the colony of Massachusetts is that written by 
Governor Winthrop. Next to that work in value is Cotton Mather's Magnalia 
Cliristi Americana, which is a history of the colony in all its interests and 
affairs, from the year 1620 to 1689. 


Cotton Mather's name is perhaps most widely known as the great instigator 
of persecution in the time of the witchcraft terror. A man of great and varied 
learning, he was singularly devoid of common sense, and allowed himself to 
be swayed by opinions that bear a close resemblance to those of insanity. 
Unfortunately, through his great influence, and perhaps by virtue of that quality 
which we have learned to call "personal magnetism," he succeeded in inoculat- 



ing a majority of the most influential people of Massachusetts with his singular 
craze. There had been executions for witchcraft in New England before Doctor 
Mather's time, but in the revival of persecution he was most prominent. 

Especially severe have some New York writers of later years been, in com- 
menting upon this reign of 
terror in New England, yet 
New York's history has 

had a darker chapter of 
cruelty. Twenty hangings 
for witchcraft occurred in 
Salem ; nearly double that number of persons were burned at the stake in New 
York City, upon the ground until recently known as the " Five Points." Both 
of these occurrences were in the same generation, but the one was the result of 
delusion, while the other resulted from abject terror, caused by one Mary 


Burton, a criminal character, wlio pretended to have information of a negro 
insurrection, and then for a few pounds swore away forty Hves. Virginia, too, 
had her witch trials, though not carried to the lengths that those of Salem were, 
and even tolerant Maryland has her record of witch hanging. And surely none 
can fail to honor Samuel Sewell, of Massachusetts, whose public expression of 
sorrow for the part he had taken in the witch executions was one of the first 
signs of recovery from the popular delusion. 

In like manner the persecutions of the Friends were due to the same sombre, 
sadly mistaken views of religious duty. Undoubtedly the New England Quakers 
were guilty of some actions which must have greatly annoyed the Puritans. The 
gentlest, kindliest, and, in some respects, the most enlightened people in the 
New World showed sometimes a most exasperating obstinacy in doing things 
which should shock the strict ideas of propriety which the Pilgrims possessed. 
For instance, in New London Pastor Mather Byles was greatly annoyed 
by having Quaker men sit with their hats on and women with their spinning 
wheels in the aisles, industriously working during service on the Lord's 
day. As soon as the Quakers were settled, when no one opposed them the 
aggressive side of their character, as shown in symbolic acts of an exaggerated 
kind, does not seem to have manifested itself at all. 


In the middle of the century the beginning of the protest against Quaker 
persecution began to be felt. Nicholas Upsall, pastor of the Boston Church, 
first opposed it. He was promptly fined twenty pounds and banished. He was 
refused a home in Plymouth and returned to Cape Cod, where he succeeded in 
inoculating a number of other people with his views. Robinson, son of the 
Leyden pastor, was sent by the General Court of Massachusetts to visit the 
Quakers and expostulate with them. He decided that there was no harm in 
them and made an able defence of them, for which he was disfranchised. The 
prejudice, once started, took years to eradicate. Perhaps a few lines from 
Cotton Mather on this subject may not be out of place. He says : — 

"It was also thot that the very Quakers themselves would say that, if they had got into a 
corner of the world and with immense toyl and change made a wilderness habitable in order there 
to be undisturbed in the exercise of their worship, they would never hear to have New Englanders 
come among them and interrupt their public worship, endeavor to seduce their children from it, yea, 
and repeat such endeavors after mild entreaties first and then just banishment." 

It is probable that in an age when we are more fond of finding causes for 
things than of suffering for conscience sake we will blame neither party in this 
obsolete quarrel. It was incompatibility of temper. 

Another of the matters about which the public is apt to be severe upon the 


Puritans is the code known as " Blue Laws," concerning which a great deal has 
been said by people who value themselves upon their "liberal " views. 

Rules relating to Sabbath observances are quoted. We are told indig- 
nantly that the Puritan could not kiss his wife or children on the Sabbath, nor 
walk in his garden, nor do any one of a number of things that are innocent and 

There is just one answer to these strictures. The Blue laws were wholly 
unknown to the Puritans. They were invented by that Tory wag. Dr. Samuel 
Peters, whose humorous " History of Connecticut" was as seriously taken by 
some folks as was Washington Irving's " Knickerbocker" a generation later. It 
is not probable that Dr. Peters ever supposed that they would be taken seriously. 
Of Puritans, Quakers, and other religionists of the olden time we are apt to 
think as though they were separate varieties of the human race, not to be under- 
stood by the light of any common experience of human nature, while in fact 
they were very human — and (perhaps in consequence) very much lied about. 


Washington Irving has humorously dwelt upon facts in his relation of the 
differences which occurred between the Dutch Government in New Amsterdam 
and the Patroons whose little principalities were further up the Hudson River. 
The grants to the patroons were such as to insure to them almost absolute con- 
trol upon their estates, with only the shadow of allegiance. The fact that the 
great patroons allowed a semblance of subserviency to the metropolitan 
governor was rather a question of their advantage than of their necessity. 

The holdings were immense. The Livingstone estate was sixteen by 
twenty-eight miles in extent ; the Van Courtlandts owned eight hundred square 
miles ; the Rensselaer manor contained five hundred and seventy-five square 
miles. Sir Vredryk Flypse, the richest man in the colony, possessed the fairest 
portion of the river from Spuyten Duyvel Creek to the Croton River. From 
the mill on his manor he shipped grain and other commodities direct to Holland 
and to the West Indies, and received rum and other exchanges from those 
countries, without either clearing or entering at the port of New Amsterdam 
(or New York as it afterwards was called). Flypse, Van Courtlandt, and 
Bayard were keen politicians as well as successful traders. To them is credited 
the hanging of Governor Zeisler, and they were hotly charged with receiving 
from Kidd, whose privateering commission they had procured, a share of his 
piratical booty. 

Upon the great estates, the exactions of the lords proprietors drove many 
tenants out of the colony. Some of the patroons even went to the length of 
asserting their right to eject tenants and reassume the land at will. This course 
of procedure retarded the growth and development of the Hudson River 



Settlements for many years 
tion of feudal authority in 
New York were very much 
like the monopolies of land 
and power in the South. 
But in one thing New Am- 
sterdam differed very much 
from Virginia ; that was in 
the possession of a thriving, 
busy city that should coun- 

In some respects the great estates and assump- 

terbalance the spirit 
of feudalism by its 
democratic disposi- 

How can we 
close this chapter 
better than by refer- 
ence to the beginnings of what 
we hold most precious of all 
the legacies which the fore- 
fathers of the American people 
left to their descendants ? 

In Virg-inia Governor 
Berkeley, in 1671 thanked God 
that there were no free schools, 
nor were likely to be for a 
hundred years. But less than 
twenty years afterward, a different feeling began to prevail. William's and Mary's 
College was founded by James Blair in 1692. But already a university was in 



existence in the North, and the first common-school system, probably, that the 
world had ever known, had been established half a century in Massachusetts. 
Salem's free-school dates back to 1640, and the state adopted a general plan 
for common schools seven years later ; a plan, the purpose of which was set 
forth in language so remarkable, that it should be preserved through all time — 
a few sentences we can give : "That learning may not be buried in the grave 
of our faith in the church and commonwealth, the Lord assisting our 
endeavors, — It is therefore ordered, that every township in this jurisdiction after 
the Lord hath increased them to the number of fifty householders shall then 
forthwith appoint one within their town to write and to read, . . . and it is 
further ordered that where any town shall increase to the number of one 

hundred families they shall set up a grammar-school to instruct youth 

so far that they may be fitted for the university." 

Maryland was nearly a century in following this lead. Rhode Island, 
beginning where Massachusetts did, fell from grace in educational matters 
till 1800. Philadelphia had good schools at a very early date, and New 
Amsterdam, or New York, moved very slowly, doubtless feeling confident 
that, whatever their attitude toward letters, her children would instinctively 
learn the use of figures. But we cannot pursue this matter widiout trenching 
upon another chapter. It is difficult to conceive that from the various forma- 
tive elements in the lives of the early colonists, a single one could have been 
well spared in the making of the new people. 

But Virginia was not the only State troubled with insurrection. Massachu- 
setts had a like experience. It was in 1786 that the movement broke out, 
Daniel Shay, a Revolutionary captain, having been rather forced to the head as 
leader, so that it became known as Shay's Rebellion. The pretext of the 
rebellion was the high salary paid the Governor, the aristocratic character of the 
Senate, the extortions of lawyers, and the oppressive taxation. In December, 
1786, he led a considerable force of rioters to Worcester, where he prevented 
the holding of the U. S. Court, and with 2000 men traveled to Springfield, 
Mass., January, 1787, to capture the arsenal [see engraving], but was repulsed 
by the militia under General Shepard. Finally, defeated, he fled the State, but 
he was pardoned the following year by Governor Bowdoin. Ultimately he 
received a pension for Revolutionary services. He died September 29th, 1825, 
at Sparta, N. Y., whither he had removed. 



MANY were the varieties of New England life before 
the American Revolution. Each township maintained 
its own peculiar laws ; clung to its own peculiar cus- 
toms ; cherished its own peculiar traditions. Never, 
perhaps, except in Greece, were local self-government 
and local patriotism pushed to such an extreme. Not 
only did commonwealth hold itself separate from com- 
monwealth, but township from township, and often, 
village from village. Long stretches of uninhabited 
land effectively divided these self-reliant communities 
from one another. "The road to Boston," says one 
of the most graphic of New England's local historians,* 
when speaking of the route from Buzzard's Bay, in 
1743, was "narrow and tortuous — a lane through a 
forest — having rocks and quagmires and long reaches 
of sand, which made it almost impassable to wheels, if 
any there were to be ventured upon it. Branches of 
large trees were stretched over it, so that it was 
unvisited by sunlight, except at those places where it 
crossed the clearings on which a solitary husbandman 
had established his homestead, or where it followed the 
sandy shores of some of those picturesque ponds which 
feed the rivers emptying into Buzzard's Bay. Occasionally a deer bounded across 
the path, and foxes were seen running into the thickets." Such roads, pictur- 
esque as they were, naturally discouraged travel. Occasionally a Congregational 
council called together the ministers of several towns at an installation or an 
ordination. Once a year the meeting of the General Court tempted the rural 
authorities up to the capital ; during a week's time a few travelers may have 

*Mr. W. R. Bliss, in his "Colonial Times on Buzzard's Bay," an excellent depiction of early 
New England life, from which other quotations will appear later in this chapter. 



(/« the New York Stuie Agricultural 



{State Agricultural Museum, Albany, N. V. 


ridden by on horseback and baited at the village inn ; now and then a visitor 
came to town, making no little stir, or perhaps a new immigrant settled on the 
confines of the parish. But there were then no Methodist preachers, with short 
and frequent pastorates, and no commercial travelers, with boxes of the latest 
goods, who could serve as conductors of thought and gossip from village to 

village and make them homogeneous. 
America was not then a land of travelers. 
What little travel there might have been, 
was often still further discouraged by 
local ordinances, and in many a town, 
a citizen had to have a special permit 
from the Selectmen before he could enter- 
tain a guest for anything over a fort- 
night. Thus one father was fined ten 
shillings for showing hospitality to his 
daughter beyond the legal period. In 
many a spot in early New England the 
protectionist principle was so thoroughly 
localized that the importation of labor, as well as of merchandise, was 
rigorously restricted. Towns so insulated naturally took on distinctive traits. 
Even religious customs, literal scripturalists as these people were, differed in 
different places. The Puritan Sabbath began on Saturday night in one 
commonwealth, on Sunday morning in another. In brief no picture of any 
one town can serve as a picture of any other. 

To describe a typical Puritan home, therefore, is 
not easy. Yet it is not impossible. For the New 
England Puritans were a peculiar and easily distin- 
guished people. The fundamental differences in 
character which set them off from the rest of the 
world, are far more prominent to the eye than are the 
local differences which divided town from town. A 
Connecticut settler, or even a Rhode Island Baptist, 
mieht be taken for a Massachusetts Puritan, but a 
Knickerbocker could be mistaken for neither. 

To begin 

with, the New Englanders were the 

(State Agricultural Museum, Albany, 

N. y.) 

most truly benevolent and unselfish people of their 

time. They had hardly set foot on New England's shore before their history 
was marked by a magnanimous act of genuine forgiveness of injuries. It 
was in the middle of the landing at Plymouth Rock, when the colony was 
prostrated by illness and was exposed to the worst inclemencies oi a 
new and inclement climate. "Destitute of every provision which the weak- 




ness and daintiness of the invalid require," so runs the description of a 
well-known historian, " the sick lay crowded in the unwholesome vessel or in 
half-built cabins, heaped around with snow-drifts. The rude sailors refused 
them even a share of those coarse sea-stores which would 
have given a little variety to their d'-;t, till disease spread 
among the crew and the kind ministrations of those 
whom they had neglected and affronted brought them 
to a better temper." There could be no better example 
of Christian forbearance than this. At the start the 
Indians also came within the scope of the Puritan's 
charity. He nursed them assiduously in times of small- 
pox, rescued many a child from a plague-stricken wigwam, 
helped them through times of famine. Christianized and 
partially civilized some of them, and in business dealings 
treated them not only justly but with a sincere though 
tactless kindness. The Puritan's home life was unselfish ; 
he was profoundly regardful of his children, though he 
evinced that regard not by indulging them, but by pains- 
taking discipline and a rigorous thrift, the better to provide for their future. 
It was a French Jesuit of the last century who testified that the New Englander, 
unlike the Canadian, labored for his heirs. These early settlers made staunch 

neighbors. They were ready at almost any 
time to leave their work to drive a pin 
or nail in a young home-maker's new 
dwelling-house as a token of their good 
will, while they found their greatest pleas- 
ures in such means of mutual helpfulness 
as corn-huskings, quilting-bees, and barn- 
raisings. They were, no doubt, exacting 
and unsympathetic masters, but in the 
commands which they enjoined they kept 
in view the moral welfare of their slaves 
and servants as of far greater importance 
than their own material prosperity. Never 
were slaves better treated than in New 

The Puritans were strenuously intent 

on making the world, not only better, 

but, as they thought, happier. It was to guard the more solid pleasures of a 

pure home-Hfe and of an honest pride in one's country, that they bulwarked 

themselves against the encroachments of sordid self-indulgences. But they went 





{New York State Cabinet of Natural History y 

Albany ) 

about their task in crude fashion. They recognized, for instance, quite wisely, 
that there is no more insidious enemy of happiness than vanity, which makes a 
man utterly miserable whenever he is ignored and only uneasily pleased even 

when he is admired the most, but they tried to 
eradicate vanity from the human heart not by 
planting something better in its place, but by 
such petty sumptuary laws as prohibiting the 
wearing of lace. They simply attempted to cut 
off whatever might minister to vanity's indul- 
gence. Their chief reliance for improving the 
condition of the world was in a countless number 
of minute restrictions and self-limitations. The 
more law there is, however, the more there needs 
to be, for prohibit nine-pins and soon there will be a new game of ten-pins 
to prohibit also. So it was with the Puritans. Restriction was placed here 
and restriction was placed there, until restriction became constriction and grew 
intolerable. The children were never allowed to lose sight of parental regula- 
tions, the parents of township ordinances, 
the town of state laws. But it was in the 
number and pettiness of these laws,' not 
any cruelty in them, which made them 
intolerable, for the humanity of New 
England's legislators is evinced in the fact 
that there were only ten crimes punish- 
able with death in New England when 
there were one hundred and sixty in Old 
England. The New Enorlanders were 
swaddled, not chained. The best that 
was in them did not have full play, but it 
had more play than it could have had in 
any other country, except Great Britain 
and Holland. 

From the start New England was a 
country of homes. The typical New 
England dwelling was the work of several 
generations. It had begun perhaps as a 
solidly built but plain rectangular house 
of one story and two rooms. In one of them the good wife cooked the meals 
on the hearth — and simple cooking was never better done — laid the table, as 
meal-time approached, with the neat wooden bowls, plates, platters, and spoons 
and primitive knives of the time, or, the meal over, received a neighbor dropping 

{Front an Old Print.) 



in on a friendly errand, or perhaps the minister gravely making the rounds of 
his parish. This was the living room, the centre of the family life. The 
other room contained two great bedsteads with their puffy feather-beds, while 
the trundle-bed in the corner betrayed the presence of little children in the 
household. If the family was large, a rude ladder led the way to a sleeping- 
place in the garret, the very spot for a boy with a romantic turn. 

Slowly but faithfully the farmer added to the size and to the comforts of his 
home. What a place the hearth soon became! "In the wide fireplace and 
over the massive back-log, crane, jack, spit and pot-hook did substantial work. 


while the embers kept bake-kettle and frying-pan in hospitable exercise." Here 
was the place for the iron, copper or brass andirons, often wrought into curious 
devices and religiously kept bright and polished. In front of the fire was the 
broad wooden seat for four or five occupants, with its generously high back to 
keep off the cold. This was the famous New England settle, making an inviting 
and cozy retreat for the parents in their brief rests from labor, or perhaps for 
lovers when the rest of the house was still. On each side of the hearth, in lieu 
of better seats were wooden blocks on which the children sat as they drew close to 
the fire on winter evenings to work or read by its blaze. Perhaps, in some corner 
of the room could be seen the brass warming-pan, which every winter's evening 



was filled with embers and carried to the sleeping chambers to give a temporary 
warmth to the great feather-beds. There was a place near at hand for the 
snow-shoes, while matchlocks, swords, pikes, halbert, and some pieces of 
armor fixed against the wall showed that the farmer obeyed the town 
ordinances and kept himself prepared against Indian raids. 

For like all frontiersmen, these farmers never felt secure. The Indians, 
instigated by the French, and exasperated by the cheating and bullying English 
adventurers, who had crept into New England against the colonists' will, were 
not only the crudest of foes, they were the most treacherous of friends. They 
had pillaged and destroyed more than one secluded and unsuspecting settle- 
ment, murdering, torturing, or carrying into captivity, as they pleased, the 

peaceful inhabitants. The big, 
vasjue rumors of such midnioht 
raids exercised their uncanny spell 
over many a household as it 
gathered about the hearth of a 
winter's evening. There was the 
Deerfield massacre, for instance. 
Just before the dawn of a cold 
winter's night the Indians fell 
upon the fated village. They 
spent twenty-four hours in wanton 
destruction, slaughtered sixty help- 
less prisoners, and carried a hun- 
dred back with them for an eight 
weeks' cruel march to the north, 
durino- which nineteen victims were 
murdered on the way and two 
were starved to death. 
Such was the story associated with the arms upon the wall ; but a happier 
story was told by the ears of corn, the crooknecks, the dried fruit, and the flitches 
of bacon hanging from the beams and ceiling of the room. They were a 
perpetual reminder of Thanksgiving Day. If the Puritan discountenanced 
Christmas observances as smacking of "papishness" — such was the narrow- 
mindedness of the times — he showed by this feast-day, his appreciation of the 
good things of earth. It was characteristic of the early New Englanders to 
make much of little things. The housewife was rightfully proud of her simple 
but nice cooking, and her husband of his plain but substantial produce. There 
is something appetizing in the very thought of their homely but choice dishes, 
their hasty-pudding, their Yankee breads, their pumpkin and mince pies. These 
simple people cultivated to an unsurpassed extent the wholesome pleasure 




which comes from a full appreciation of nature's wealth of gifts. They were 
lovers and cultivators of the wholesome fruits. It was a custom often observed 
in New England to give a favorite tree or bush a special and appropriate name, 
as a token of affection and so to make it seem the more companionable. The 
Puritan, indeed, had strong local affections and attachments. He found his 
pleasures in what came to his hand and made pleasures often out of the work he 
had to do. He provided little that was even amusement for his children, but 
this misfortune was alleviated by the abundant outlet for youthful energies 
which they found in the activities of the household. There was little time which 
could be spent in mere amusennent. The home was a hive of busy workers. 
The planting, cultivating and harvesting of his crops consumed perhaps the 
smaller portion of the farmer's time. Cattle raising for the West Indies and 
sheep growing took much of his 
attention. He was something 
of a lumberman, as well, and 
still more of a mechanic. Per- 
haps he bought iron rods and, 
when debarred from outdoor 
labor, hammered them into nails 
at the kitchen fireside. It was 
much more important, however, 
that he should have some skill 
at carpentry. Often too, he 
carved out of wood his table 
dishes. In the diverse indus- 
tries of his house was the orerm 
ofmany a nucleus factory. From 
his wife's busy loom came home- 
spun cloth for the family. In the kitchen were distilled her favorite remedies. 
The children of the family were not only kept busy ; they were kept thinking ; 
their inventive faculties were constantly on the alert. Hardly a week passed 
but a new device was needed. Early in the history of New England, to be 
sure, there were tanners who would keep half the skins they received and 
return the other half in leather, brickmakers, masons, carpenters, millers 
with very busy wind-mills, curriers, sawyers, smiths, fullers, malsters, shoe- 
makers, wheelwrights, weavers and other artisans to do the work of specialists 
in the community, yet the farmer did not a little for himself in every one of 
these trades. His home was an industrial community in and of itself 

The fisherman who dwelt upon the sea-coast needed quite as active and 
versatile a family as did his inland brother. He left them to build the boats, 
hoop the casks, forge the irons, and manage the many other industries pre- 


{.Fac-sitnile 0/ a Fie tier e in Edward li'iltiams' s " Virginia Truly 
Valued." Ibso.) 


requisite to the complete outfit of a vessel for a long and hazardous voyage. 
At any time they might be obliged to support themselves entirely or be thrown 
upon the town, for all fishing out at sea is a dangerous vocation, and whaling had 
its peculiar perils. Occasionally a boat and crew were sunk by the tremendous 
blows with which some great whale lashed the sea in his death agony. Now and 
then one of these tormented giants would turn madly upon his pursuers. Then, 
so says one careful historian, "he attacked boats, deliberately, crushing them 
like egg-shells, killing and destroying whatever his massive jaws seized in their 
horrid nip. His rage was as tremendous as his bulk ; when will brought a purpose 
to his movement, the art of man was no match for the erratic creature." One 
such fighting monster attacked the good ship "Essex," striking with his head 
just forward of her fore-chains. The ship, says the mate, " brought up as sud- 
denly and violently as if she had struck a rock, and trembled for a few seconds 
like a leaf" She had already begun to settle when the whale came again, 
crashing with his head through her bows. There was bare time to provision and 
man the small boats before the vessel sank. The crew suffered from long 
exposure and severe privations, and only a part of them were ever saved. 

Such tales as this reached inland and attracted boyish lovers of adventure 
to the sea. There were other and different tales of the sea, as well, to allure 
them — tales of great wealth amassed in the India trade, of prizes captured from 
the French by audacious privateersmen, or of pirates, then scourging the sea, or, 
more boldly still, entering Boston harbor and squandering their ill-gotten gains 
at the Boston taverns. The ocean was then the place for the brave and the 
ambitious. It is a significant fact that probably the first book of original fiction 
ever published in New England was "The Algerine Captive," a story of a 
sailor's slavery among the Moors. Yet this story was long in coming. New 
England produced no fiction of its own and reprinted little of old England's 
until ten years after the close of the American Revolution. In the early farm- 
houses, the library consisted of two or three shelves of Puritan theology. As 
time went on Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, a few ecclesiastical and local histories, 
one or more records of witchcraft trials, and some dooforerel verse from the New 
England poets were added to the dry and scant supply of reading. Yet the 
enterprising and imaginative reader, though a child, could ferret out not a few 
exciting episodes from such uninviting volumes as Josephus's " History of the 
Jews," or Rev. Mr. Williams's record of Indian Captivity, while by 1720 a few 
of the more fortunate little ones had a printed copy of Mother Goose jingles 
for their amusement. But, although this was all the reading the farmer had — 
for the newspapers were wretched and were seldom seen fifty miles from Bos- 
ton — it must not be supposed that he underestimated the value of books. He 
read far more than the modern farmer does — indeed all he could afford to get 
and had the time for ; the clergy of the time often had substantial libraries of 



one or two or even three hundred voUimes ; while in the Revolutionary period, 
any young lady in a well-to-do family could easily obtain the best writings of 
Dryden, Pope, Addison, Swift, Thomson, and the other classic writers of the 
eighteenth century. 

A Tuw cf y Industry cfJStavtn afCaiuida in mdkin^X>ami » jutp y Courst irfmirutct. in order to form ayreatXrakt , about ir. 
tfuy huiCd thiir a^ahitationj . Xa XifiCt this : thty ieUlar^Tnet uHth th^irTe^th. in stuh a rnanntr ^■' to makt th^m ccmt CrvjSy^^u* 

Ut. to lay y Jbundatian afyj>atn; thiy makeJHsrtar, uvrk up, and finish y u^hoU wiA^rsat order and uvnd/rfuU :^xt£rity. 
Vht Ztavtrj havt tun Jhnn to Ouir Irod^ej , one tc the Ttritttr and the otfur ta thtXfOnd jide .Ata>rdin^ay^n£h.Saoitntt. 

{From Moll's "New and Exact Map" jyiS-) 

Indeed, the " young lady," as the feature of human society, was not alto- 
gether neglected, even in earlier times. To be sure, she could not dance with- 
out shocking most, if not all, of the community ; she could not act in church 
charades — for all dramatic exhibitions were forbidden by law ; but in the inter- 



vals between her sewing and her housekeeping cares, she played battledore 
and shuttlecock with her sister or friends, or practised the meeting-house 
tunes on the old-fashioned and quaint spinet or virginal. If she were so 
fortunate as to be born in the eighteenth century instead of the seventeenth, 
she was regularly escorted by her swain to the singing-school, which not 
only furnished training in psalmody, but was the occasion of much social 
companionship among the young people of the village, and of not a little 

These gatherings often started incidentally other intellectual interests 
besides those of music, and books were discussed and recommended. Here was 


the birth-place of the reading circle and the modern lecture system. Awkward 
and restrained as their society manners were, the Puritans were a social people ; 
jealously as they preserved their home-life, they joined quite as readily as do 
modern farmers in general village pleasures. The barn raisings for men, the 
quilting-bees for women and the merry corn-huskings and house-warmings for 
both, were not the only social gatherings of young and old. Every ordination 
or installation of a new minister — it came seldom, to be sure, — was the occasion 
of feasting and a sociable assembling by the congregation. Training day was 
another time when the township was agog with excitement. Every male citi- 
zen of the village, from the boy of sixteen to the man of sixty, was compelled on 
these occasions to shoulder his musket and march in the militia. An awkward 


squad of amateur soldiers they were, as they paraded the village, complacent 
and valiant in fair weather, but bedraggled, crestfallen and wofully diminished 
in numbers in wet. Yet the women and children were proud of them and fol- 
lowed along the route. In honor of the occasion special booths were erected 
for the sale of gingerbread and harmless drinks to the on-lookers. The tavern 
too was kept busy, for every settlement of any pretensions had a tavern, where 
the passing traveler might get refreshment for himself and his horse. Here the 
selectmen planned the village policy for the consideration of the town-meeting. 
Here too were held public debates between rival theological disputants, sitting 
over their mild spirituous beverages. Here too was disseminated the latest 
news from Boston and the old world. 

The two other public buildings of the place were the school-house and the 
meeting-house. As early as 1647, every Massachusetts village of fifty house- 
holders was required by state law to maintain a school, in which the catechism 
and the rudiments of reading, writing and arithmetic should be taught, while 
every town which boasted a hundred householders was obliged to establish a 
grammar school. But New England was not dependent upon these schools 
alone for her education. Massachusetts and Connecticut each had its college, in 
which learned and often eminent men trained the more ambitious youth of the 
land. One hundred thousand graduates were among the early emigrants from 
England and mingled with the people, while in the first days of the church, the 
pulpits even in the smaller towns, were almost without exception filled with men 
accomplished in the best learning of the time. 

The church was the centre of the community's social and political life. 
Attendance on public worship was enforced, during many decades and in many 
places, by village ordinance. Church and state were curiously confused. Only 
church members were allowed to vote at town-meetings, and the selectmen of 
the village assigned the seats to the congregation, according to the peculiar 
regulations of the town-meeting. Customs differed in different places. In 
some villages, just before service began, the men would file in on one 
side of the church and the women on the other, while the boys and 
girls, separated from each other as scrupulously, were uncomfortably fixed 
in the gallery, or placed on the gallery stairs, or on the steps leading 
up to the pulpit. It was in one of these churches that the following ordinance 
was enforced : — 

"Ordered that all ye boys of ye town are and shall be appointed to sitt upon ye three paii 
of stairs in ye meeting-house on the Lord's day, and Wm. Lord is appointed to look to the boys 
yt sit upon ye pulpit stairs, and ye other stairs Reuben Guppy is to look to." 

In other meeting-houses, each household had a curious box pew of its own, 

fashioned according to the peculiar tastes of its occupants. The assignment of 



pew room in these places of worship was determined by the most careful class 
distinctions, for democratic as the Puritans were in their political institutions and 
commercial methods, each family jealously guarded whatever aristocratic pre- 
tensions it might have inherited. To the plain seats in the gallery were relegated 
the humbler members of the parish ; a few young couples had pews of their 
own set off for them there, while a special gallery was occasionally provided for 
the negro slaves. There was no method of heating the edifice ; to warm their 
feet the women had recourse to foot-stoves, carried to the meeting-house by the 
children or apprentices ; the men to the more primitive method of pinching 
their shins together. When the hour-glass in the pulpit had marked the passage 
of an hour and a half, the sermon usually came to a close, and the people in the 


gallery descended and marched two abreast up one aisle and past the long pew 
which directly faced the pulpit and in which the elders and deacons sat. Here 
was the money-box, into which each person dropped his shilling or more, as the 
case might be, while the line was turning down the other aisle. There was 
an intermission of service at noon, when the people ate their luncheon 
in the adjacent school-house, where a wood-stove could be found, and 
discussed the village gossip and the public notices posted on the meeting- 
house door. 

In every family the minister of the parish was received with an awe and 
reverence which seemed suitable not only to the dignity of his calling, but to 
the extreme gravity of his deportment and the impressive character of his learn- 
ing. In weight and authority he was the oeer of the village officials. Only the 



squire, the appointee of the Crown, was his superior ; for he held his office as 
representative of the Crown. If offenders did not pay the fines imposed upon 
them, this village dignitary could place them in the stocks, or order them to be 
whipped. Persons who lived disorderly, "misspending their precious time, he 
could send to work-house, to the stocks, or to the whipping-post, at his discre- 
tion. He could break open doors where liquors were concealed to defraud His 
Majesty's excise. He could issue hue-and-cries for runaway ser\'ants and 
thieves. There are instances on record in which a justice of the peace issued 


his warrant to arrest the town minister, about whose orthodoxy there were dis- 
tressing rumors, and required him to be examined upon matters of doctrine and 
faith. But a more pleasing function of his office was to marry those who came 
to him for marriage, bringing the town clerk's certificate that their nuptial inten- 
tions had been proclaimed at three religious meetings in the parish during the 
preceding fortnight." 

The Squire's office, however, was an English, not an American institution, 
and did not long survive on our soil. What was peculiar to New England public 
life was the town meeting, held in the parish church. Every freeman of the 


township was obliged to attend it, under penalty of a fine. It distributed in 
early days the land among the settlers ; it regulated, often according to com- 
munistic and often according to protectionist principles, the industries of the 
community ; and it repressed gay fashions and undue liberties in speech and 
deportment. Its representatives were the selectmen and town-clerk, and were 
held in high esteem, from the respect due to their office. 

Yet none of these dignitaries, much as they were held in awe, could per- 
manently suppress the instincts of youth for gayer fashions and happier times. 
It is impossible on any rational basis to explain the inconsistent Puritan standards 
of right and wrong amusements. The most conscientious of Puritans would go, 
merely out of curiosity, to a hanging, and see no harm in it, but he looked with 
grave suspicion on church chimes as a worldly frivolity. Feasting he encouraged 
and religious services he discourap-ed at a funeral. Marriage he made a secular 

O O *-> 

function ; the franchise religious. To dancing he objected as improper and to 
card-playing as dangerous, but he saw no harm in kissing-games and lotteries. 
Finally the influence of the city proved too much for him. Boston customs were 
imitated in the provincial towns. Young and old indulged in the fashionable 
disfigurements of the day. The women wore black patches on their faces to set 
off their complexions and the men slashed the sleeves of their coats to show the 
fine quality of their underclothes, and even funeral services became occasions 
for display. Sumptuary laws were ignored or repealed. The country towns 
became social centres. By the time of the American Revolution, New England 
was already merging from Puritanism, with its virtues and limitations, into a new 
Americanism, with its new merits and its new defects. 



O the north of Cuba, between that island and the Great 

Bahama banks is a navigable channel known as the old 

Bahama passage. Three centuries ago it had its day, a rich 

day, when freighted Spanish merchantmen and galleons, 

< y^y 1^" seeking in the new world the riches which impoverished Spain 

fiaSk W grasped so eagerly for, "dropped down with costly bales" 

from Cuba and the American coast, finding their way by the 

Caicos passage to the ocean. 

Between Cuba and Haiti, or Hispaniola, is what is known as " the 

windward passage," almost at the intersection of which with the Bahama 

channel, at the northwest end of Haiti, is Tortura del Mar, — the sea tortoise. 

As it was described in the sixteenth century, so it is to-day, — a wooded, 
rocky island, with few inhabitants and much game. Its only good harbor is on 
the south, and the blue water that surrounds it is as clear as a mountain spring 
and deeper than the mountain itself. It covers the entrance to the little for- 
tified Haitian town of Port au Paix, with a strait ten miles wide between them. 
With its beauty of foliage, mild, sea-tempered, tropical climate, and advantage of 
position, nature evidently intended Tortuga for a little insular heaven, but man 
succeeded in making quite the reverse of it. On Tortuga the Buccaneers 
(formerly known as Boucaniers and Buccaniers) started and developed, till 
Spain rang with the terror and fame of their achievements, and throughout 
the Antilles and the Spanish Main they enacted one of the most terrific 
romances of history. 

Boucaning, from which we get Buccanier, originally meant to prepare beef 
in a peculiar way, by smoking ; and the Buccaneers were cow-boys, who were a 
part of the French settlement that had driven the Spanish owners from Tortuga. 
The horses and cattle of the latter, running wild in large droves, afforded the 
material for their adventurous trade. It was not long before these old time 
"cowpunchers" became a separate and peculiar people, living much of their 
lives in camp, and returning to town only to dispose of their spoils and to 
■commit untold debaucheries. Spain, in possession of Hispaniola, naturally was 



jealous of her interloping French neighbors. France disclaimed any responsi- 
bility for their acts, on the ground that she neither governed nor received 
tribute in Tortuga. Then the Spaniards tried to eject the Buccaneers, and only 
succeeded in incurring their undying enmity. At last a destruction of cattle 
drove the Frenchmen to more desperate adventures. 

The first departure was that of Pierre Le Grand, who, tired of the waning 
activity of the beef business, took a small vessel, and with twenty-eight men, 
cruised towards Caicos, with the purpose of surprising some Spanish merchant- 
man. Finally discovering a war vessel, instead of such game as he was i.c 
search of this Peter the Great approached to examine his prey more closely, 
and succeeded in exciting the suspicions of some of the Spaniards on board of 
the stranger, who told their captain that they believed the little vessel to be a 
pirate ; but the commander, who was vice-admiral of the Spanish fleet; laughed 
at their anxiety, replying that even if the Frenchman was near their own 
vessel's size they would have nothing to fear. 

Waiting till cover of evening, the Buccaneers approached so close to the 
Spaniard that they could not have withdrawn without discovery and suspicion. 
In order to insure success, Pierre made the pirates' chances desperate by 
scuttling his own vessel ; thereupon they closed with the man-of-war and 
boarded her with such adroitness and celerity that they succeeded in surprising 
the captain and some of his officers in the cabin, and, after a short struggle, 
shooting down those that opposed them, possessed themselves of the gun 
room. It was an easy but brilliant victory, an achievement that set the hot 
blood of the Tortuga Buccaneers in a sudden blaze, and freebootine on the 

o o 

high seas became at once a fashionable and much-followed profession. As for 
Pierre le Grand, the pioneer in piracy, he was content with his first venture, 
and, having taken his rich prize to France, remained there, never revisiting the 
Western World. Doubtless the Spaniards passing Cape de Alvarez in their 
little tobacco boats, or hide-laden vessels from Havana, were surprised and, 
not pleasantly so, by the sudden appearance and activity of canoes and small 
boats manned with murderous Frenchmen from Tortuga. 

The Buccaneer was beginning his trade of piracy in a small way, 
ndustriously accumulating the capital with which to venture on greater 
enterprises. The small vessels he converted into little freebooting ships ; the 
small cargoes he took home and sold in Tortuga, till he had enough saved to 
equip them properly. When everything was ready, and agreements as to the 
share of each man had been entered into, and every man had chosen his side 
partner, who should share his good and evil fortune and stand by him in a 
fracas, the notice was given to assemble. Whereupon every pirate brought 
his powder and arms to the appointed place, and off they went. That was the 
fashion of it. As we would plan a little jaunt down the river, or across the 


lake, or up to the top of a mountain to see the moon rise, these jolly 
Buccaneers got ready and went a-pirating. 

Let us not be misled at the outset by a glamour of romance which time and 
a partial historian have thrown about the deeds of the buccaneers. No more 
utterly debased, bestial, merciless, and bloodthirsty set of fiends ever figured 
in history ; but it is no less true that their physical fearlessness led them to deeds 
which, by their audacity and atrocity, set the world ringing with their fame. 

The first four great prizes were made within a month. Two of these were 
Spanish merchantmen and two were vessels loaded with plate at Campeche. 
Success so great, the proofs of which were at once brought to Tortuga, as to 
arouse the wildest enthusiasm. In a little time there were twenty vessels in 
the buccaneer fleet. Spain, disgusted at this new state of affairs, sent two 
men-of-war to guard her shipping. It is impossible to say how much more 
mischief might have been done had it not been for this precaution. As it was, 
the commerce of His Most Catholic Majesty suffered frightfully. 

A second Pierre, called Fran^ofs, led a crew of twenty-six men in a little 
vessel against the pearl fleet, near the river De La Plata, where they lay at work 
under the protection of a gun-boat. The man-of-war was barely half a league 
away from the fleet, but Frangois resolved to attempt a swoop. He feigned to 
be a Spanish vessel coming up the coast from Maracaibo. On reaching the fleet 
he assaulted the vessel of the vice-admiral, of eight guns and sixty men, and 
forced a surrender. He then resolved to take the man-of-war. So he sunk his 
own boat and, compelling the Spaniards to assist him, set sail in the prize, with 
Spanish colors flying. Thinking that some of the sailors were trying to run 
away with what they had got, the man-of-war gave chase. This did not suit 
Frangois at all. It is one thing to fight a surprised and unsuspecting enemy, and 
quite another to combat a foe that greatly outweighs and outmeasures one's self 
when he is suspicious and advancing. Francois tried to get away. That he 
would have succeeded in escaping had his rigging stood, there is little doubt. 
As it was the mainmast gave way under the sudden strain of canvas, and the 
freebooters were at the mercy of their enemy. On being overhauled Frangois 
and his men — twenty-two of whom could fight — made a fierce resistance, but 
were at length overcome, but only yielded on favorable terms, which were that 
they were to be put, uninjured, on shore, on free land. 

It is estimated that the booty which they obtained and lost that day was 
worth about 100,000 pistoles, or about $400,000. 

In course of time, and no very long time. Port Royal, in Jamaica, became 
the chief rendezvous for the pirates. On the harbor where Kingston now 
stands there is a little town to remind one of the city that was engulfed by the 
great earthquake — a city said to be the wickedest in the world. Near Port 
Royal, upon the same harbor, is a landing by which one could go, and still 



can, by a short cut of half a dozen miles, to the capital city, Santiago de la 
Vega, now known as Spanish-Town. Near this landing there are large caverns 
and fissures of enormous depth, into which one may cast a stone and hear it 
bound and rebound, till the sound is lost in the distance. These caverns, 
tradition says, were the hiding places and silent accomplices in murder of the 
Buccaneers when they were hard pressed. Some are still supposed to contain 

vast treasure. 

Attracted by the 
great success of the 
Frenchmen, accessions 
from English, Portuguese, 
and Dutch mariners joined 
the ranks of those who 
preyed upon Spanish com- 
merce. Nearly always the 
buccaneers appear to have 
sailed under some semi- 
official letters of marque 
granted by the colonial 

Bartholomew Portu- 
gues, a man of cat-like 
cunning, courage, and 
ferocity, was among the 
first to arrive. He had 
been a noted desperado 
in the old world before 
he ventured his fortunes 
in the new. With a small 
vessel, about thirty men, 
and four small cannon, he 
attacked a large Spaniard 
running from Maracaibo 
to Havana, and after being once repulsed succeeded in taking her. Her force 
of men was more than double his own, and her armament vastly larger, 
but she finally struck her flag to the pirate, who had lost ten or twelve 
men. Being bothered by head winds, Portugues sailed for a cape on the west 
end of Cuba, to repair and take in supplies. Just as he rounded the cape, he 
ran into the midst of three large Spanish vessels, by whom he was taken. 
Shortly afterward a storm arose and separated the ships, but the one which 
bore the desperado put into Campeche, where he was recognized by some 

{From the Portrait in '' De Americaensche Zee Roovers.") 


Spaniards who had suffered at his hands in other waters. He was condemned 
without trial, to be hung at daybreak, and for safe keeping was confined that 
night on the ship ; but having a friend and accomplice near, he procured a knife, 
murdered his guard and escaped to land, floating on earthen wine jars, for he 
could not swim. Hiding in the woods for three days without food other than 
that the forest afforded, the pirate saw the parties sent in search of him, 
and afterward traveled nearly forty leagues, living on what \vt could glean on 
the shore, and exposed to all the discomforts, which only those who have 
traveled in a tropical country can at all appreciate. On his journey he 
performed, it is said, a remarkable feat which illustrated his tenacity of 
purpose, and power of will. Coming to a considerable river and being unable 
to cross it by swimming, he shaped rude knives from some great nails which 
he found attached to a piece of wreckage on the shore, and with no other 
instrument, cut branches with which he constructed a sort of boat. When 
he reached Golfo Triste and found there others of his own kidney, he told 
them of his sufferings and adventures and begged a small boat and twenty men 
with which to return to Campeche. 

In the meantime the Spaniards, having supposed their foe dead, made a 
great rejoicing, which was summarily cut short by his unexpected return. In 
the dead of night he encountered the very vessel which had lately captured 
him, and from which he had escaped. She was lying in the mouth of the river. 

Softly the pirates steal across the starlit water, slipping from shadow to 
shadow along the shore, starting at the whistle of the duck or the hoarse cry 
of the flamingo, till they are in position to pounce upon their prey. Then 
a sudden dash, a few shots and frroans, and Portusjues is asrain the successful 
Buccaneer, the master of a rich prize. 

But he did not keep it long. He was wrecked on his way to Jamaica, and 
returned to that evil place as empty as when he started out, and although he 
engaged in several expeditions and made brilliant efforts to regain his 
advantages he never did so, but was always followed by the ill fortune he so 
richly deserved. 

Braziliano — a Dutchman, long resident in Brazil — had his share of 
notoriety. He won a rich prize or two and spent his money so recklessly that 
a fortune slipped through his fingers in three months. At this time Port Royal 
was so choicely wicked that only the quaint chronicler of three hundred years 
ago would dare to put in words the details of its debaucher)', and only in the 
old fashioned style of that early day would the account be readable. Literally, 
wine flowed in the streets like water, was thrown over the persons of passers 
by, who were ordered, at the pistol mouth, to partake. Murder, lust, and 
drunkenness, in forms indescribably beyond all precedent or comparison, were 
the order of the day. And this tremendous reputation for crime and 


debauchery, that is pre-eminent after the lapse of centuries, was won in less 
than half a generation. 

After a little the Spaniards, grown wary, were too well convoyed and 
armed to be easy conquests, and a new era was inaugurated. Lewis Scott was 
the first of the Buccaneers to attempt the adventures upon land which added 
so greatly to the fame of the freebooters. He attacked and almost destroyed 
the town of Campeche. His example incited the Dutchman, Mansvelt, who 
invaded Grenada, the island of St. Catherine, which he took, and which was for 
some time a pirate rendezvous, and Carthagena. 

Nor must we forget John Davis, whose fame is only second to that of 
Morgan himself Davis was a Jamaican by birth. His first great exploit was 
the sack of Nicaragua. He had in all forty men, of whom he left ten to guard 
the vessel, and with the remainder, in three boats, approached the city. 

Sending a captive Indian slave in advance to murder the sentry, the party 
landed and went from house to house, knocking and entering, putting the in- 
mates to death and looting all they could lay their hands on. They pillaged 
the churches and took prisoners for ransom, escaping when the hue and cry 
was raised, and the uproar in the suddenly awakened city taught them that it 
was time to retreat. The Spaniards followed them to the seashore, but too late 
to recover their townsmen or treasure, though not too late to receive a warm 
parting salute from the guns of the pirate. The value of booty acquired on 
this raid is said to have exceeded ^300,000 in gold, besides much plate and 
jewels — probably all told reaching ^75,000 more. We next learn of Davis as 
the commander of a fleet of half a dozen or more pirate vessels, and among 
other adventures is that of the capture of St. Augustine, Florida. 


The plans and exploits of the pirates continued to grow in magnitude. 
Their vessels became fleets and their fleets almost navies. One of the great 
leaders was Lolonois, who began in the early days of buccaneering on Tortuga, 
and rose to be a freebooter of great prominence and reputation. The Gov. 
ernor of Tortuga, Monsieur de la Place, was so struck with his qualities that he 
gave him his first ship. He so beset the Spaniards in her that it is said by his 
biographer that "the Spaniards, in his time, would rather die fighting than 
surrender, knowing they should have no mercy at his hands." 

He gained great wealth, but after awhile lost his ship on the coast of Cam- 
peche, where he and his crew, after escaping from the wreck, were beset and 
almost destroyed by the Spaniards. Lolonois himself being wounded, feigned 
death and was passed over by his foes. Afterwards escaping, by the aid of 
some negroes to whom he made great promises, the captain got back to Tor^ 
tuga, and after some trouble succeeded in getting another vessel and crew. 



With these he put into the port of Cayos, and learning the channel from some 
captive fishermen, lay in wait for a vessel which the governor of Cuba sent to 
capture him. After nightfall, while the vessel lay at anchor, several boats 
approached her, and were hailed with the inquiry whether they had seen any 
pirates. The fishermen in the boat replied that they had not. But beside the 
fishermen were pirates, compelling them to answer so. Thereupon the boats 
drew nearer, and presently the Buccaneers assaulted, swarming up both sides 
of the great vessel and 
forced the Spaniards be- 
low hatches. From below 
decks they were ordered 
out one by one and deca- 
pitated at Lolonois' order. 
One man alone was saved, 
to bear a message back 
to the governor, to the 
effect that the pirate cap- 
tain would never spare 
any Spaniard thereafter, 
and hoped shortly to make 
an end of the governor 

While cruising in this 
ship, another vessel was 
taken near Maracaibo — a 
ship loaded with plate and 
merchandise. With this 
Lolonois returned to Tor- 
tuga to receive the con- 
gratulations and praise 
that usually await the suc- 

His next venture was 
with eight vessels, ten guns 
and nearly seven hundred men. His first prize was a ship of sixteen guns with 
fifty fighting men on board. She yielded after hot fighting for three hours, 
the flag-ship of the pirate fleet having engaged her singly without assistance 
from the others. She contained, besides a rich cargo, a treasure of over fifty 
thousand pistoles, of $200,000 in value. Other prizes soon put the fleet in a 
position to attempt more extensive operations. 

The Gulf of Venezuela or Bay of Maracaibo, as it was called, afforded a 

{From the Portrait in "Z>tf Americaensche Zee Roovers.") 


peculiarly tempting field for the freebooter, Lolonois. Its narrow channel, 
protected by the watch tower and fortress on the islands at its mouth, led to a 
lake near which the Spaniards had settled several towns and cities, whose wealth 
came to be quite disproportioned to their size or populations. Maracaibo, 
Gibralter, Merida — all had much to recommend them to the hungry pirate. 
One can hardly understand at first how so much silver and other valuable 
booty could have been gathered from the insignificant settlements of the 
Spanish Main ; but when we consider that from Peru and the Pacific settlements 
to the islands of the Caribbean there was almost constant communication, that 
the inhabitants of all were reaping the full advantage of being first in a rich 
treasure field, and that there were no banks, each man holding or hoarding 
his own gains and keeping his capital under his own roof the mystery grows 

To Maracaibo Lolonois shaped his fleet's course. Arriving at the entrance, 
he landed and took the fort or earthworks by storm, in a fight which lasted for 
several hours, then, sailing through the passage, brought his whole fleet into 
the lake and towards Maracaibo, which lay about six leagues beyond. Becalmed 
in sight of the town, the inhabitants saw the fleet and had time to flee with much 
of their treasure towards Gibralter. But on the following day the invaders landed 
and Lolonois sent a company of men into the woods to follow the fugitives, 
whose houses, with stores of food and drink, stood open. By the time the search 
party returned with such prisoners and booty as they could recover, the remain- 
der of the crews were not of the soberest, as might be imagined. Then began 
one of those revolting scenes of cruelty and crime, the details of which we follow 
shudderingly. Men were tortured in every conceivable way, their limbs broken, 
their bodies mutilated, their most sacred feelings outraged, to force them to a 
confession of hidden riches. Many a poor wretch died under the torments 
inflicted, protesting with his dying breath that he could not reveal what he had 
never known. For fifteen days Maracaibo was occupied, till like a lemon whose 
juice is exhausted and the rind flung away, it was abandoned and the murderers 
proceeded towards Gibralter, which was a smaller town than Maracaibo, but in 
communication with Merida, to which place the pirates advanced last, after having 
treated Gibralter as they had Maracaibo. The governor of Merida, who had 
been a soldier in Flanders and who made no doubt that he could hold his own 
in a fight with the freebooters, barricaded the roads, felled trees in the passages 
through the swamps and planted batteries where they would be of most avail. 
Over these obstructions Lolonois and his men were obliged to fight their way 
step by step, now taking the woods and anon the road, but swearing with curses 
loud and deep that the Spaniards would have to pay for their discoriifiture. It 
came near being a defeat for the buccaneers, as they were outnumbered and 
overmatched, and would probably have been totally destroyed, or at least have 


escaped only with severe loss, but for a very old stratagem. Pretending to flee, 
they drew the enemy from one of his strongest batteries, and then turning, 
overpowered and defeated him. 

After Merida had been taken and new cruelties devised for its sufferinor 
inhabitants the captors rested there four weeks, until the increasing death-rate 
among them warned them to escape from a climate to which their excesses 
made them easy victims. Sending parties then into the woods for those whc 
had still preserved their lives there, the pirate captain demanded a ransom for 
the town, promising to burn it to the ground if 10,000 pistoles were not imme- 
diately forthcoming. Finally this sum was secured, but only after part of 
Merida had been consumed with fire. A similar ransom was e.xtorted from the 
already exhausted Maracaibo as the fleet passed out of the gulf and then the 
buccaneers sailed away, having 260,000 pistoles in ready money and an immense 
booty in merchandise. 

It would be impossible and not very instructive to follow Lolonois through 
his further adventures. He sacked many cities, killed and tortured numberless 
Spaniards, won and wasted an almost countless treasure, and at last died a 
miserable death of ling^ering- torture at the hands of some enrag^ed Indians. 

Following Lolonois came Henry Morgan, the last and greatest of the 
Buccaneers, whose crimes and adventures have made him, in the popular 
conception a sort of nautical demi-god ; only second in fame to Sir Francis 
Drake, and much greater in exploits. 

Without question, Morgan was a remarkable man. A Welsh boy, sold for 
his passage to the New World, after the fashion of those days, he was a naval 
commander who belonged to no navy, a conqueror to whom conquest and 
pillage were equal terms, a genius in murder and robbery. He commanded at 
times many ships and hundreds of pirates, yet was one of those instrumental in 
putting down piracy. He was utterly lawless, yet always claimed that he sailed 
under commission from the Governor of Jamaica. He was knighted for one of 
his most outrageous acts of piracy at a time when the Governor who had given 
him his commission was in prison for doing so. He was Acting-Governor of 
the very island where most of the fruits of his lawlessness had been exhibited, 
and where he was said to have wisely maintained the laws. He became a 
planter of wealth and repute, and finally languished in an English prison for 
the crimes so long condoned. Certainly, romance need not seek further than 
this for material. 

One of Morgan's earliest exploits was the taking of Puerto Bello, in Costa 
Rica. This he effected partly by stratagem, causing the sentry to be seized 
and approaching the strong walls of the city under cover of darkness. He also 
managed to surprise the inmates of some religious houses, priests and nuns, 
whom he afterwards put forward as a defense to his soldiers when scaling 


ladders were brought into use. But never was a more obstinate defense made 
and never was Henry Morgan more nearly defeated than that day at Puerto 
Bello. The Spaniards fought with fury, the Governor especially showing no 
mercy and finally refusing all quarter, dying with his sword in his hand, crj'ing 
that he would rather fall a soldier than live a coward. 

St. Catherine's Island was taken by Morgan, to be used as a pirate ren- 
dezvous, but the Governor of that place, while agreeing to capitulate before a 
blow had been struck, insisted on a sham battle to save his credit. To this 
Morgan good-naturedly acceded. Following the example of Lolonois and 
others, he attacked ill-fated Maracaibo and put the inhabitants to torture worse 
than that which they had before suffered. We will not go into details, having 
already supped on horrors. More interesting is the account of the dilemma 
in which the buccaneer found himself upon seeking to leave the Gulf of Vene- 
zuela with his ships loaded with booty and prisoners. He had eight little 
vessels. He found opposing him several war ships in the narrow passage 
already so well guarded by the guns of the fortress on the island. The Admiral 
of the Spanish fleet sent a letter to Morgan telling him that he might be 
allowed to escape on condition of leaving all his plunder behind, but that other- 
wise he would be treated without mercy. 

The Buccaneer might have said, as General Sheridan is reported to have 
said on a much later occasion, "I am in a bottle and the enemy have the neck 
of it." However, he made a bold front and resolved to perish in fighting his 
way out rather than abandon his ill-gotten gains. By means of a fire ship, 
cunningly manned and armed with dummies, he managed to deceive and 
destroy the largest of the Spanish ships and then defeated the others. This 
accomplished, he waited for a favorable opportunity to pass the fort, the guns 
of which still pointed too ominously across the e.xit. 

The question was how to turn those guns the other way. Finally he hit 
upon a scheme. Sending boat after boat to the shore filled with men and return- 
ing apparently empty to the ships, but in reality with their crews lying covered 
in the bottoms, he deceived the Spaniards into believing that he meditated a 
night attack on the fort from the landward side. In consequence all the great 
guns were turned that way, in expectation. Then the crafty captain stood out 
to sea, firing a salute of bullets, to which the disgusted garrison did not attempt 
to reply. 

When Morgan had reduced Puerto Bello he had a passage of arms with 
the Governor of Panama, who had come vainly to the relief of that place. A 
little bit of theatrical civility or courtesy took place at the time, the Governor 
sendine a message to Morgan, to know bv what arms he had succeeded in 
overcoming so strong a fortress ; and the captain politely returning a pistol and 
bullets with a message to the effect that he would come for them in a year. 

raT;reiI»!l|lll1inlipP!ll(i)lr yigjiH 



After awhile Morgan went for that pistol. This was in 1670. Sending 
some vessels in advance, which took the town of Chagres, the leader presently 
came and led them across the Isthmus, where they met with almost unbearable 
hardships on the march. It was the month of August. A little army of twelve 

hundred men, with artillery 
and ammunition, pushed on 
foot across a country where 
men have since ridden and 
thought it hardship. They 
had no food ; the fatigue was 
great ; hostile Indians added 
their unwelcome addresses 
to the pangs of starvation ; 
yet the intrepid pirates kept 
on as though they expected 
in some way to be miracu- 
lously saved from the death 
that in different disguises 
peered at them from the 
ambushes along the way. 
One would suppose that 
their ardor would have been 
tamed ; but on the contrary, 
when they came in sight 
of Panama, these irrepressi- 
ble freebooters cheered and 
threw up their hats as 
though they had been out 
for a holiday. This was on 
the ninth or tenth day of 
the march. Almost within 
sight of the city they found 
food, which they devoured 
like wild beasts. They had 
one or two skirmishes, and 
at last were rejoiced to see 
a company of the Spaniards coming to meet them. These men, who were 
mounted, came near enough to call names and shout unpleasant things to them, 
but soon retired and left the way clear to the city. But Morgan, a schemer 
himself feared an ambuscade. He made a detour to avoid the batteries which 
he judged rightly, the enemy had put in the way. Then the Spaniards left 




these works and came to meet him. There were four regiments of foot, a 
body of horse and a large number of wild bulls that were driven by Indians. 
There was somethintr humorous in the idea of 

sending cattle against buccaneers ; but there was 



very little military judgment in it, as 
the sequel showed. The bulls ran away. The Spanish forces, nearly if not 
quite three thousand strong, were vanquished after a sanguinary battle, and the 


city of Panama was taken and looted, after which Captain Morgan put it to 
the torch. 

Two churches, eig^ht monasteries, two hundred warehouses, and a grreat 
number of residences were the prizes which this richest of American cities 
offered. They were all utterly stripped, and the usual tortures resorted to in 
order to extort confessions concerning the treasure which might possibly be 
hidden. People were burned alive, eyes dug out, ears and noses cut off, arms 
dislocated, and all imagined or unheard-of barbarities practiced. Then the 
greatest of all pirates and freebooters went away with a hundred and seventy 
beasts laden with precious metals and jewels and merchandise of value, besides 
six hundred prisoners. He made, when he reached the coast, a false division 
of spoils among his men, and escaping with the lion's share abjured piracy 
and became, as has been before said, a knight of Charles the Second's creation, 
and an exemplary planter and Governor of the island of Jamaica ! 

We have dwelt long-, — too long-, — with the Buccaneers. There were other 
pirates of a later time whose names are not less familiar, and one at least of the 
number whose fame is world wide. I mean Captain Kidd, who stood upon 
a sort of middle ground between the buccaneers and the marooners proper. 
Teach, or Blackbeard, made his headquarters among the Bahama Islands and 
was a past-master of claptrap. He created theatrical effects with burned brim- 
stone and paint, and not only tortured others but himself as well, giving us 
every reason to believe him an insane man. That he took and buried treasure 
at different points is certain, and probably the half of his villanies have never 
been told. But of Blackbeard and Avery and Roberts we can say very little ; 
they were roaring, ranting, raving pirates, per sc. Their stories lack the tiavor 
of courage and dash of romance that make us willing to endure the recital of 
the crimes of Morgan, Lolonois or the rest of the Buccaneers. 

But we may not leave Kidd so. Along every mile of Atlantic coast in the 
United States his money has been dreamed about and often searched for. The. 

story of how he 

" Murdered William More 
And left him in his gore 
As he sailed," 

is part of our nursery education. 

There were pirates troubling the shipping of the very good Dutch-English 
town of New York long ago, and some very good and very rich merchants 
obtained a commission from Lord Bellamont for William Kidd to go out and 
look for pirates, which he did, and found one. 

It was a little hard on the respectable merchants aforementioned, that they 
should have been suspected by an envious world of sharing in the profits of the 
piratical voyages. More was a gunner, or gunner's mate, whom Captain Kidd 



put to death ; and it is one of the curious examples of the working of law that 
Kidd after his capture would have escaped under a general amnesty to pirates 
had he not been held on the charge of murder. He enjoyed the unenviable dis- 
tinction of being the one of very few pirates who have been hung. 

But, nevertheless, though the fame of Kidd and Morgan is so pre-eminent, 
there are others only second to 
them in renown — others whose 
names and deeds have also been 
chronicled by Captain Johnson, the 
famous historian of scoundreldom. 
Captain Bartholomew Roberts, for 
instance, if he may not have had 
the fortune to be so famous as the 
two above-mentioned worthies, yet, 
in his marvelous escapes and deeds 
of daring, he well deserves to stand 
upon the same pedestal of renown. 
And Captain Avery, though his his- 
tory is, perhaps, more apocryphal 
in its nature, nevertheless there is 
sufficient stamina of trust in the 
account of his exploits to grant him 
also a place with his more famous 
brothers, for the four togfether — 
Blackbeard, Kidd, Roberts, and 
Avery — form a galaxy the like of 
which is indeed hard to match in 
its own peculiar brilliancy. 

Through circumstances the 
hunter name of buccaneers was 
given to the seventeenth century 
pirates and freebooters ; the term 
"marooners" was bestowed upon 
those who followed the same trade 
in the century succeeding. The name has in itself a terrible significance. The 
dictionary tells us that to maroon is to put ashore as upon a desert island, and 
It was from this that the title was derived. 

These later pirates, the marooners, not being under the protection of the 
West Indian Governors, and having no such harbor for retreat as that, for 
instance, of Port Royal, were compelled to adopt some means for the disposal of 
prisoners captured with their prizes other than taking them into a friendly port. 



Occasionally such unhappy captives were set adrift in the ship's boats — with 
or without provisions, as the case might be. A method of disposing of them, 
maybe more convenient, certainly more often used, was to set them ashore upon 
some desert coast or uninhabited island, with a supply of water perhaps, and 
perhaps a gun, a pinch of powder, and a few bullets — there to meet their fate, 
either in the slim chance of a passing vessel or more probably in death. 

Nor was marooning the fate alone of the wretched captives of their piracy ; 
sometimes it was resorted to as a punishment among themselves. Many a 
mutinous pirate sailor and not a few pirate captains have been left to the horrors 
of such a fate, either to die under the shriveling glare of the tropical sun upon 
some naked sand-spit or to consume in the burning of a tropical fever amid the 
rank wilderness of mangroves upon some desert coast. 

Hence the name marooners. 

The Tudor sea-captains were little else than legalized pirates, and in them 
we may see that first small step that leads so quickly into the smooth down- 
ward path. The buccaneers, in their semi-legalized piracy, succeeded them as 
effect follows cause. Then, as the ultimate result, followed the marooners — 
fierce, bloody, rapacious, human wild beasts, lusting for blood and plunder, 
godless, lawless, the enemy of all men but their own wicked kind. 

Is there not a profitable lesson to be learned in the history of such a human 
extreme of evil — all the more wicked from being- the rebound from civilization ? 

Even to this day imaginative fishermen and oystermen on Connecticut 
and Long Island shores occasionally see a phantom ship sailing, with all sail set, 
across some neck of land ; and more than one will tell how he started to dig for 
a treasure, and was driven away by having the pirate vessel bear down upon 
him, which goes to show that once in awhile fiction is stranger than fact. 





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Ihtreof Cn GoldorSilver 
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Treasury o£ VlRGITflA, 

Fursuavt fo ACT oj 




THE causes which made 
possible the assertion of 
American National Inde- 
pendence must be sought, 
not merely in the oppres- 
sive legislation w h i c h 
directly harried the colon- 
ists into revolt, but, back 
of that, in the political 
institutions they had 
evolved for themselves ; in 
the self-dependence made 
necessary by the distance 
and indifference of the 
mother country' ; in the inherited instinct for self-government common to all of 
the English race ; in their ardor for commercial and territorial expansion, and 
in the occasional and temporary unity of action to which they were from time 
to time forced for mutual defense against a common enemy. 

When the struggle which ended in the Revolution began, the thirteen 
colonies were, as regards internal affairs, to all ends and purposes representative 
democracies. All of them elected legislatures, which made laws, laid taxes, 
levied troops, provided for grants, and formed a real government of the people 
by the people. Two of the colonies, Connecticut and Rhode Island, held 
charters which allowed them to choose their own Governors r,o well. So com- 
plete were these tv.'o charter-grants that when the Union was formed no change 
was needed in the political structure of the two States ; and, in fact, no change 
was made for many years. Massachusetts originally held an equally liberal 
charter, but was deprived of it by an arbitrary act of the Crown, as we shall see. 
Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland were still proprietary^ colonies, but through 
self-interest the nominal proprietors granted a large measure of self-government 



The other colonies had elective legislatures, but in each the Royal Governor 
had an absolute veto power over legislation. In all the bond to the English 
Crown was the charter or royal grant. Naturally, the colonists construed these 
grants very strictly, confining the power of the Governor to the closest legal 
construction of the charter, and assuming for themselves every power not 
specifically withheld. Above all, the colonists well understood the immense 
advantage that their power to grant or withhold supplies of money gave them. 
In reality, government in local matters practically rested with the Assemblies. 
The Royal Governors might, and did, fume and fret, complain to the English 
Government, and denounce their subjects as turbulent and obstinate, but they 
were met by passive resistance and, in more than one case, by actual force. 

Looking more closely into the political structure of the colonies, we find 
in New England, in full swing, the purest democracy the world has ever known, 
in the town-meeting system. In these town meetings every citizen had his right 
to speak and his vote, and the meeting assumed the fullest authority over all 
local matters, forming, also, the unit for legislative representation. In the 
Southern colonies the county took the place of the New England town as the 
political unit, but here, also, the democratic idea had taken strong hold. 
Massachusetts and Virginia were by far the most advanced examples of these 
two types of local government. As might naturally be expected, therefore, we 
find them always in the lead in resenting arbitrary actions of the Royal 
Governors and of the Crown. They were not only the largest and oldest of 
the colonies, but their peoples were far the most hornogeneous. In each the 
population was almost wholly English, and in large part was made up of the 
third and fourth generations of the original settlers. Differing as widely as 
possible in origin — the one people coming mainly from the Roundheads, the 
other largely from the Cavaliers ; differing widely, also, in social and religious 
matters and in habits — the one being austere and simple in life, the other 
almost aristocratic ; — yet each had unified, had become distinctly American, and 
was free from close dependence on the mother country. 

Massachusetts and Virginia had also in common the bitter recollection of 
actual conflict with the royal authority. In Virginia Bacon's Rebellion had left 
the seeds of discontent. It originated in the wish of the Virginia colonists to 
put down Indian disturbances without waiting for the tardy action of the 
Governor. Nathaniel Bacon boldly led his neighbors to an attack on these 
Indians without due authority from Governor Berkeley,''' who had promised him 
a commission, but had failed in this and other promises of assistance to the 
distressed colonists. Berkeley forthwith proclaimed Bacon a rebel, and war 
on a small scale ensued and continued until the latter's sudden death. Massa- 

* See illustration on page 77. 


chusetts had a still more irritating memory in the Andros tyranny and the 
loss of her charter. When Charles the Second mounted the throne his re- 
sentment at the Puritan sympathies of New England led him to lend a willing 
ear to various complaints against the province ; his commissioners were re- 
fused recognition by the General Court of the colony, which " pleaded his 
Majesty's charter ;" the controversy became so intense that it is recorded that 
in 1 67 1 the colony was "almost on the brink of renouncing its dependence 
on the Crown ;" finally in 1684 the charter was declared forfeited by the Eng- 
lish Court of Chancery, and Sir Edmund Andros was sent out as "President 
of New England," a new and quite unconstitutional office. Connecticut, as 
every school-boy knows, saved her charter by hiding it in the historic oak 
tree ; Massachusetts was less fortunate, and something very like anarchy 
followed until the news came of the be^innin^r of the reig-n of William and 
Mary, when Sir Edmund was seized and thrown into prison, and an as- 
sembly of representatives at Boston provisionally resumed the old charter. 
In the end the colony was forced to accept a new charter by which a Royal 
Governor was granted a veto power. But Massachusetts never forgot her 
old and more perfect form of liberty, and never was as well disposed as 
before to the Crown. 

The colonies of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the Carolinas 
were in population comparatively mixed, were less unified ; and in them, 
therefore, we find, when the Revolution begins, a strong Tory element, which 
made their action uncertain and often reluctant. Generally speaking, the 
Royal Governors of the colonies were not in sympathy with the peoples ; they 
were usually arrogant, sometimes mere adventurers, often weak and vacil- 
lating. Their quarrels with the Assemblies usually turned on grants of money. 

And here, even in early times, we find everywhere cropping up the principle 
which later was voiced in the watchword of the Revolution, " No taxation with- 
out representation." It has been said that this watchword was illogical ; that in 
point of fact not all people in England who were taxed were represented in 
Parliament, and that, on the other hand, the American colonies had no real wish 
for representation in Parliament. Both statements are true, but the representa- 
tion demanded by the Americans was that which they already had — that of 
their own legislatures. The idea was succinctly expressed as far back as 1728, 
when the Massachusetts General Court refused to grant a fi.xed salary for Gov- 
ernor Burnet "because it is the undoubted right of all Englishmen, by Magna 
Charta, to raise and dispose of money for the public service, of their own free 
accord without compulsion." And the converse of it was seen in Pennsylvania 
when, the Governor having refused his assent to a bill containing a scheme of 
taxation, the Assembly demanded his assent as a right. The doctrine, in short, 
was simply that money raised from the people should be expended by the 


people, that the Assemblies were the legal representatives of the people, and tliat 
they, and they only, could know what taxes the people could bear and how the 
sums thus raised could be expended to public advantage. The expression of 
this theory varied continually up to the Declaration of Independence, but its 
substance was consistently maintained. From the position that parliament had 
no riorht to interfere in internal taxation the colonies in the end advanced to the 


position that their allegiance was to the Crown ; that the parliament was in no 
sense an Imperial Parliament ; that the Crown stood for English rule over all 
British dominions ; but that while the laws of England were to be enacted by 
the English parliament, the laws of the American colonies were to be formulated 
by their own representatives in legislatures assembled. It was only as a last 
resort and when driven to extremity that the colonies threw off that loyal alle- 
giance to the Crown which they had held to be quite consistent with the main- 
tenance of this basic principle of their liberties. 

Let us look now for a moment at the imperfect and temporary union 
entered into from time to time by the colonists for mutual defense, and which in 
a way foreshadowed the greater and permanent union of the future. Along the 
coast the English power had become continuous ; the Dutch power at New 
Amsterdam had been swept away ; the Spaniards had been pushed back to the 
South ; the Indians and the French were held at bay on the West and North. 
In King Philip's War the New England colonies had combined to raise two 
thousand troops and had conquered by concerted action. In the early French 
and Indian wars military operations had also been carried on in concert by the 
colonies with varying successes. Thus, the New England colonies and New 
York had captured Port Royal in 1690, and had even attempted an attack on 
Quebec, and in 1 709 and 1 7 1 2 expeditions were planned against Canada and 
Acadia, in which the colonies united. Both of these latter comparative failures 
led, by the way, to the issue of paper money to cancel the heavy debts incurred. 
When Great Britain was at war with Spain the Southern colonies — Georgia, 
Carolina and Virginia — had also united in an unsuccessful expedition led by 
Oglethorpe against Florida. In King George's War the colonies planned 
and carried out almost without help from England the expedition by which the 
French stronghold Louisburg was seized. Encouraged by this notable triumph 
of their four thousand troops, they projected the conquest of Canada — an under- 
taking so vast that it is not surprising that it was soon abandoned. 

But the most serious emergency arose when France and England were for 
a short time at peace, after the treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle (1748). The French 
plan of extension of territory in America was one of unbounded ambition and 
of unity of purpose. From New Orleans to Quebec the French had gradually 
erected a line of fortified posts along the course of the explorations of La Salle, 
joliet, Marquet and D'Iberville. Following their theory that the discoverers of 

SIl ;NING the declaration of AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE. 


a river were entitled to all the territory drained by it, they were occupying the 
Mississippi valley and were moving eastward toward the Alleghanies, thus draw- 
ing close round the English territory and threatening to invade it. Fortunately 
their line of outposts from Quebec to New Orleans was only as strong as its 
weakest part ; otherwise English supremacy on the Continent had been over- 
thrown. With their Indian allies the French were now face to face with the 
pioneers of the colonies who were pressing westward, and who on their side 
were strengthened by the Indian alliance of the Six Nations. The Ohio Com- 
pany had been formed for the purpose of colonizing the valley of the Ohio 
River and to check the progress of the French eastward. It was believed that 
the territory of the company was infringed upon by French settlements, and 
George Washington, then a young surveyor, was sent by Governor Dinwiddle, 
of Virginia, to examine the actual condition of affairs on the frontier. The wily 
French crave him fair words but no satisfaction. In this, Washington's first ser- 
vice to the country, he showed on a small scale the calmness, firmness and cour- 
age that made him a few years later the hope and support of a nation. His 
report on the frontier situation was so serious that the colonists determined on 
immediate war and Virginia called the other provinces to her aid. How to 
raise men and money was a serious question. It was to solve the difficulty of 
conducting the campaign that Benjamin Franklin proposed, at a meeting of 
commissioners of the several colonies held at Albany, a plan of confederation, 
commonly called the Albany Plan. It provided for a form of federal govern- 
ment which should not interfere with the internal affairs of any colony but should 
have supreme power in matters of mutual defense and in whatever concerned 
the colonies as a body. The Albany Plan included a President or Governor- 
General who should be appointed and paid by the King, and a Grand Council to 
be made up of delegates elected once in three years by the colonial legislatures. 
This scheme found favor neither with the Crown nor with the colonial assem- 
blies ; each party considered that too much power was given the other, and the 
colonies also objected to accepting taxes imposed upon them by a body in a 
sense foreign to each though composed of delegates from all. Yet the project 
is of immense interest and significance, historically, because it shows in what 
way men's minds were turning and how the leaven of National unity was work- 
ing almost without the knowledge of the people themselves. 

The war that ensued was at first carried on in America alone, though aftet 
two years it became a part of the great Seven Years War between France and 
England (1755-63). At the outset the key of the territorial struggle lay at 
the junction of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers, near where Pitts- 
burgh now stands. Here Washington was besieged in Fort Necessity and 
was compelled to capitulate by overwhelming forces, but under honorable con- 
ditions. The French still held Fort Du Ouesne, and against this Braddock's 



unfortunate expedition was directed. Now at last the colonists were dispos- 
sessed of their old idea of the invincibility of British troops. The regulars, 
disregarding the advice of the Americans, who understood Indian and French 
warfare, fell into an ambuscade and were all but cut to pieces. The lesson 
must have been a startling one to the untrained, half-armed provincial troops. 
As one writer has said, "The provincial who had stood his ground, firing from 
behind trees and stumps, while the regulars ran past him in headlong retreat, 
came home with a sense of his own innate superiority which was sure to bring 
its results." Thus and in many other ways throjghout the war the Americans 
learned their own possibilities as soldiers on their own ground. The details 
of the war need not here be reviewed. With the great battle on the Plains 
of Abraham and the death of the heroic Wolfe and the not less intrepid Mont- 
calm, French dominion in the new world 
perished forever. It is well known that 
the mortification of the French statesmen 
was allayed by the astute reflection that 
the now undisputed power of Great Britain 
was likely to be but temporary. Said the 
Duke de Choiseul, " Well, so we are 
gone ; it will be England's turn next." 
He saw — and other French statesmen pre- 
dicted the same thing — that the very fact 
that no external enemies threatened the 
provinces would bring them face to face 
with the mother country for the final 

Indeed, the treaty of Paris was not 
even signed when the mutterings of the 

storm were heard. Now, thought England, was the time to enforce her dis- 
regarded authority ; now, thought the colonies, was the time to insist on 
their rights of expansion and of self-government. England's whole theory of 
the relation of colonies was radically wrong, though she held it in common with 
other great Powers. This theory was that the colony was merely a commercial 
dependency — a place where the mother country could extend its trade ; while by 
no means was the colony to be allowed to compete in trade at home or in the 
world's markets. To this end had been enacted years before the so-called Navi- 
gation Laws. By these Americans were forbidden to export their products to 
other countries than England, to buy the products of other countries except 
from English traders, to manufacture goods which could compete in the colonies 
with English importations (for instance, there was even a law against the 
making of hats), or to ship goods from colony to colony except in British 



vessels ; while a high protective tariff prevented the colonists fiom selling 
grain and other raw products to England. A peculiarly ingenious and an- 
noying repressive measure was that known as the Molasses Act, aimed to stop 
that extensive trade which consisted in taking dried fish to the French West 
Indies, receiving molasses in return, bringing it to New England, there turn- 
ing it into rum, and finally, taking the rum to Africa, where it was often traded 
for slaves, who in turn were usually sold again in the West Indies. The Mo- 
lasses Act insisted that the Yankee traders should carry their fish only to the 
British West Indies ; and as these islands did not wish the fish there was an 
end, theoretically, to a very profitable if not altogether moral system. 

In point of fact, all these laws had been constantly disregarded ; smuggling 
and surreptitious trading were universal. But now it was suddenly attempted 
to enforce them, and that by the obnoxious Writs of Assistance — search warrants 
made out in blank, so that they could be filled out and used by any officer, 
against any person, at any time. This was quite contrary to the spirit of the 
English law, and met with such a sturdy resistance that, though the courts did 
not dare to declare the writs illegal, the practice was abandoned. James Otis, 
in particular, thundered against the Writs of Assistance (rather than to defend 
which he had thrown up his office as King's Prosecutor) in a speech at the 
utterance of which John Adams declared "the child. Independence, was born." 
Almost simultaneously with this excitement in Boston, Patrick Henry was 
delivering his maiden speech in Virginia against the royal veto of a bill dimin- 
ishing the salaries of the clergy. He denounced any interference with Virginia's 
law-making power, and boldly proclaimed that when a monarch so acted he 
" from being the father of his people degenerated into a tyrant, and forfeits all 
rights to obedience." 

While yet the bickering about the old laws continued, a quite novel 
form of taxation was rushed through Parliament, "with less opposition than a 
turnpike bill." The Stamp Act was indeed a firebrand such as its originators 
little suspected. Great Britain had been at great expense during the recent 
wars, and naturally thought that the Colonies should bear their share of the 
cost. On their side, the Colonies maintained that they had done all that with 
their feeble means was possible. George III had lately (1760) mounted the 
throne. He was narrow-minded, obstinate, a thorough believer in kingly 
authority ; and, as he could not strive for personal supremacy by the means which 
proved so fatal to Charles I, he adopted the methods of wholesale political 
bribery, of continual intrigue, and of relentless partisan enmity to those who 
opposed him. It was because these opponents of his, or some of them, sympa- 
thized with America that he grew fixed in his determination to exact obedience. 
He hated the liberty-loving Colonists chiefly because he hated the New Whigs 
in Eno-land. His minister, Grenville, thought to please his royal master, and at 



the same time not to offend beyond endurance the Americans, by his invention 
of the Stamp Act. This ordered that in the Colonies all contracts, legal papers, 
wills, real-estate transfers, as well as newspapers, should be printed on stamped 
paper, or on paper to which stamps had been affixed. Coincident with it was 
passed a law ordering the colonial assemblies to support in various ways the 
royal troops which should be sent to them. So that this whole scheme proposed, 
first, to tax the Colonies illegally (as they held), then to send soldiers among 


them to enforce the tax, and, finally, to compel them to pay for the support of 
these very soldiers. No wonder that a storm of indignation raged from Maine 
to Georgia. Grenville himself was amazed at the result. In Massachusetts 
Samuel Adams declared that this was violating the liberty of self-government, 
to which subjects in America were entitled to the same extent as subjects in 
Britain. Patrick Henry, in Virginia, presented resolutions declaring that, "The 
taxation of the people by themselves or by persons chosen by themselves to 


represent them, who can only know what taxes the people are able to bear, is 
the distinguishing characteristic of British freedom," and that the General 
Assembly of Virginia, therefore, had the sole and exclusive right and power to 
lay taxes upon the inhabitants of the Colony. A congress of delegates from 
nine of the Colonies soon met at New York and set forth the same principle 
of Colonial rights in a petition to the Crown. No attempt was made by this 
Stamp Act Congress to do more than declare the feelings of the united Colonies. 
But it was a distinct advance in the direction of union. Meanwhile, the people 
at large showed a disposition to take the matter in their own hands, without 
regard to Parliament or Congress, or lawyers, or finespun theories of constitu- 
tional right. When the stamps arrived they were burned or thrown into the 
sea ; stamp officers were compelled to resign their offices ; mobs in a few cases 
injured the property of obnoxious persons; the "Sons of Liberty" formed 
themselves into clubs and warned all to " touch not the unclean thing " under 
penalty of mob law. When the time came for the Stamp Act to go into 
operation there were no stamp officers to enforce it. One of them has left it 
on record that when he rode into Hartford to deposit his resignation, with a 
thousand armed farmers at his heels, he felt "like Death on the pale horse with 
all hell following him." No doubt there were some acts of mob law at this 
time which a strict sense of justice could not approve, but, as Macaulay has 
said, "the cure for the evils of liberty is more liberty;" and so, in the end, it 
proved in this case. 

On May i6th, 1766, a Boston paper published what we should call to-day 
an "extra," in which, under the heading "Glorious News," it reported the arrival 
of a vessel belonging to John Hancock, with news of the repeal of the Stamp 
Act. Grenville's Ministry had fallen, and with it fell his measure. Rejoicings 
in London were, the paper stated, general. Ships in the river had displayed 
all their colors, and illuminations and bonfires were going on all over the city. 
This shows how widespread at that time was the English sympathy for Ameri- 
cans ; even during the war it was not wholly suppressed. The "extra" from 
which we have quoted ends its account by saying, "It is impossible to express 
the joy the town is now in, on receiving the above great, glorious, and import- 
ant news. The bells in all the churches were immediately set a ringing, and we 
hear the day for a general rejoicing will be the beginning of next week." 

But even this change of front on the part of Parliament was accompanied 
by a gratuitous declaration to the effect that it had the power " to bind the 
colonies and people of America in all cases whatsoever." 

Lord Rockingham's Ministry, which had repealed the futile and fruitless 
Stamp Act, lasted but a year ; it was followed by that of which the Duke of 
Grafton was nominally the head, but in which the unscrupulous and audacious 
Lord Townshend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was the real leader. He 


at once proposed and carried a law imposing on the American Colonies import 
taxes on glass, paper, painters' colors, lead and tea. To such laws as this, he 
cunningly argued, the Colonies had often before submitted. In a way they sub- 
mitted to this also ; that is to say, they did not at first resist its constitutionality, 
but retorted by entering into "non-importation" agreements, by which they 
bound themselves as individuals not to purchase the taxed articles. Merchants 
who persisted in selling the obnoxious goods were boycotted, as we call it now, 
and found placards posted up in which it was demanded that — to quote one 
of these notices literally — " the Sons and Daughcers of Liberty would not buy 
any one thing of him, for in so doing they will bring Disgrace upon themselves 
and their Posterity, for ever d^nd ever, Amen." It was not denied that it was the 
intention to use the sums raised by these taxes to pay the salaries of the royal 
governors and of the colonial judges, and to maintain British troops in the 
colonies. This was emphatically subversive of free government. New York 
refused to make provision for troops quartered upon it, and only consented 
tardily and imperfectly when its legislature was, as a penalty, suspended by the 
Crown. Massachusetts threw all kinds of technical legal obstructions in the 
way of providing for the two British regiments which arrived at Boston. Pro- 
tests against the Townshend Act made in an orderly meeting in Boston were 
denounced in Great Britain as treasonable, and it was proposed that colonists 
guilty of such offenses should be brought to England and there tried for trea- 
son. If anything were needed to inflame still further the colonists' indignation 
it was this. Massachusetts sent out a circular letter to other colonies asking 
them to unite in petitions and remonstrances to the king ; this in turn was 
treated as also treasonable ; a disturbance caused by the seizure of a sloop be- 
longing to John Hancock for customs' offenses was magnified into a riot ; the 
dreaded act providing for the trial of accused colonists in England was passed ; 
in every way the situation was becoming critical. 

The presence of the British troops in Boston was irritating in the extreme 
to the masses of the citizens ; quarreHng between soldiers and citizens of the 
rougher class was constantly going on, and finally in March, 1770, a street 
brawl ended in the so-called Boston Massacre, when the troops, not without very 
great provocation, fired upon the citizens, killing five and wounding six. From 
that day the hearts of the common people were ready for armed resistance at 
any minute. Looking back on the " massacre " from the cool standpoint of 
history, it must be admitted that it was not quite the merciless and causeless 
act of brutality which it seemed then to the inflamed minds of the populace, but 
its influence at the time was enormous. 

The year of the Boston Massacre saw also the accession of the subservient 
Lord North as the Prime Minister and tool of George III. With him began a 
new chapter in the attempt to enforce taxation without representation. The 


non-importation pledges were beginning to fall into disuse, and Lord North was 
led to hope that by removing all the taxes except that on tea the colonists 
would yield the point of principle involved. George III himself had said, " I 
am clear there must always be one tax to keep up the right," and it was thought 
that the threepence per pound would be regarded as a trifle not worth fighting 
for. But the colonists were not fighting for money but for a principle ; and in 
1772 it was found that the tea tax was yielding only $400 a year, while it was 
costing over a million of dollars to collect it. A last cunning trick was attempted 
by Lord North ; he gave the East India Company a rebate on teas taken 
to America, thus making it possible for the colonists to buy the tea with 
the threepenny tax still on it and yet pay less than before the tax was laid. It 
is to the honor of our forefathers that the subterfuge was instantly detected and 
the new proposal resented as the deepest insult. Cargoes of tea were sent 
to Charleston, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. In the first city the tea 
was stored in damp cellars and purposely spoiled ; New York and Philadelphia 
refused to allow the tea to be landed ; Boston held her famous tea party ; and 
in still other ports the tea was burned. 

The destruction of the tea in Boston harbor was not one of those mob acts 
(like the brawl which led to the Boston Massacre, or the burning of the 
revenue schooner " Gaspe " in Rhode Island) which are the inevitable but 
regretable accompaniments of a great popular movement ; it was rather a 
deliberate act, agreed on by the wisest leaders and carried out or sanctioned 
by the people at large. Thousands of sober citizens stood upon the shore and 
watched the party, disguised as Indians, who hurled the hated tea overboard ; 
so eminent a man as Samuel Adams led the party, and to this day no 
American has felt otherwise than proud of the significant and patriotic deed. 

Events now hurried rapidly one upon another. The British Parliament's 
reply to the Boston Tea Party was the Boston Port Bill, which absolutely forbade 
any trade in or out of the port. Simultaneously the charter of Massachusetts 
was changed so as to give the Crown almost unlimited power and to abolish town 
meetings, while it was made legal to quarter troops in Boston itself and 
General Gage, the commander-in-chief of the British troops in the colonies, was 
made Governor of Massachusetts. This attack upon one of the colonies was 
regarded as a challenge to all. The system of correspondence committees, 
started locally in Massachusetts and extended, at Virginia's suggestion, between 
the colonies, for counsel and mutual support, was made the means of calling 
together at Philadelphia the first Continental Congress (September 5th, 1774). 
In this all the colonies but Georgia were represented, and among the delegates 
were George Washington and Patrick Henry, of Virginia ; John and Samuel 
Adams, of Massachusetts ; John Jay, of New York, and many others famous in 
our historical annals. This first really National Congress was moderate but firm 



in its action. It drew up a declaration of rights, wliich was a splendid recital of the 
wrongs complained of, prepared an address to the King, and adopted what was 
called the American Association, an agreement to prevent all importation from 
and exportation to Great Britain 
until justice was done ; it ad- 
journed with the expressed re- 
solve to meet again, if necessary, 
the following year. 

England now considered the 
colonies as in open rebellion, and 
indeed they were, at least in 
arms ; Massachusetts alone had 


twenty thousand "minute men" ready to respond to the first call. And 
that call soon came. General Gage sent troops to the number of eight 
hundred to Concord, to destroy military stores there accumulated and to 
arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock, to be sent for trial as traitors to 


England. The events of that expedition are familiar to us all. Boston was 
at that time a city of 17,000 inhabitants, guarded by 3000 British regulars. 
The inhabitants had patiently waited for the troops to strike the first blow, 
until the latter attributed their inaction to cowardice. But this expedition 
to arrest the American leaders would bring -matters to the long-waited-for 
crisis. On that night (April 18) Paul Revere, in company with Davies and 
Prescott, started with a message from Dr. Joseph Warren, one of the leading 
spirits in Boston. The message was flashed by a lantern across the Charles 
river ; it was to tell the farmers and townsfolk that the hour for resistance was 
come. A handful of colonists collected on the Lexington Green were fired 
upon by the British, and eight or ten were killed ; the troops pressed on to 
Concord and seized the stores ; but their retreat to Lexington was one lonof 
fight with the " embattled farmers " posted behind stone walls and trees and 
hidden in houses. When, reaching- Lexington, the British were reinforced from 
Boston, they were so exhausted that a British writer says they laid down on the 
ground in the hollow square made by the fresh troops, " with their tongues hang- 
ing out of their mouths like those of dogs after a chase." The British had lost 
two hundred and seventy-three men ; the Americans one hundred and three. 
Paul Revere' s midnight ride had fulfilled its mission. The " shot heard round 
the world " had been fired. 

The war for independence had begun. 




WITTY foreigner, watching the course of the American Revo- 
lution, wrote to Benjamin Franklin that Great Britain was 
undertaking the task "of catching two millions of people in a 
boundless desert with fifty thousand men." This was a crude 
and inaccurate way of putting it, but it expresses succinctly the 
magnitude and difficulty of the campaign that lay before the 
British generals. They had to contend with an illusive enemy 
in his own country, constantly strengthened by uprisings of 
the people in each vicinity where the war was at the minute going on ; they 
were unable to move far from their bases of supplies, which were necessarily 
the great seaport towns they might capture ; they were hampered by lack of 
real heartiness in the English people for the struggle ; and they were self- 
deceived as to the assistance they might hope for from Tory sympathizers in 
this country. When Parliament rather reluctantly authorized the raising of 
twenty-five thousand men for the war, Great Britain was still forced to obtain 
most of this number by subsidizing German mercenaries from the small princi- 
palities, who were indiscriminately called Hessians by the colonists, and the 
employment of whom did much to still further provoke bitterness of feeling. 
At one time in the Revolution Great Britain had over three hundred thousand 
men in arms, the world over, but of this number not more than one-tenth could 
be sent to America. But the greatest obstacle to British success lay in the fact 
that the English leaders, military and civil, constantly underrated the courage, 
endurance, and earnestness of their opponents. That raw militia could stand 
their ground against regulars was a hard lesson for the British to learn ; that 
men from civil life could show such aptitude for strategy as did Washington, 
Schuyler, and Greene, was a revelation to the professional military men the 
significance of which they grasped only when It was too late. 

Above all, the one thing that made the colonists the victors was the indom- 
itable energy, self-renunciation, and strategic ability of George Washington. 
We are so accustomed to think of Washington's moral qualities, that It is only 




danger of 

when we come close to the history of the war that we fully recognize how great 
was his military genius — a genius which justly entitles him to rank with the few 

truly great soldiers of his- 
tory, such as Alexander, 
Caisar, Napoleon, and Von 
Moltke. Almost alone 
among the American gen- 
erals of the Revolution, he 
was always willing to subor- 
dinate his own personal 
glory to the final success 
of his deep laid and com- 
prehensive plans. Again 
and again he risked his 
standing with 
and ran the 
being superseded by one 
or another jealous general 
of lower rank, rather than 
yield in a particle his de- 
liberate scheme of cam- 
paign. Others received 
the popular honors for bril- 
liant single movements 
while he waited and plan- 
ned for the final result. 
What the main lines of his 
strategy were we shall en- 
deavor to make clear in 
the following sketch : — 

When the news of the 
running fight from Con- 
cord to Lexington spread 
through the country, the 
militia hurried from every 
direction toward Boston. 
Israel Putnam literally left 
his plough in the field ; 
John Stark, with his sturdy 
New Hampshire volunteers, reached the spot in three days ; Nathaniel Greene 
headed fifteen hundred men from Rhode Island ; Benedict Arnold led a band 



of patriots from Connecticut ; the more distant colonies showed equal eager- 
ness to aid in the defense of American liberties. Congress displayed deep 
wisdom in appointing George Washington Commander in Chief, not only 
because of his personal ability and the trust all men had in him, but because 
it was politically an astute measure to choose the leader from some other 
State than Massachusetts. But before Washington could reach the Con- 
tinental forces, as they soon began to be called, the battle of Bunker Hill 
had been fought. And before that, even, Ethan Allen, with his Green Moun- 
tain Boys, had seized Fort Ticonderoga " in the name of Jehovah and the Con- 
tinental Congress" — which Congress, by the way, showed momentarily some 
reluctance to sanction this first step of aggressive warfare. The occupation by 
Allen and Arnold of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, at the southern end of 
Lake Champlain, was of great military importance, both because of the large 
quantities of ammunition stored there, and because these places defended the 
line of the Hudson River valley against an attack from Canada. 

The battle of Bunker Hill, looked at from the strictly military point of 
view, was a blunder on both sides, astonishing as was its moral effect. The 
hill, properly named Breed's Hill, but to which the name of Bunker Hill is 
now forever attached, rises directly back of Charlestown, on a peninsula con- 
nected with the main land by a narrow isthmus. The American forces seized 
this on the night of June i6th, 1775, and worked the night through intrenching 
themselves as well as they could. With the morning came the British attack. 
The position might easily have been reduced by seizing the isthmus, and for this 
reason the Americans had hardly shown military sagacity in their occupation of 
the hill. But the British chose rather to storm the works from the front. 
Three times the flower of the English army in battle line swept up the hill ; 
twice they were swept back with terrible loss, repulsed by a fire which was 
reserved until they were close at hand ; the third time they seized the position, 
but only when the Americans had exhausted their ammunition, and even then 
only after a severe hand to hand fight. The British loss was over a thousand 
men ; the American loss about four hundred and fifty. When Washington 
heard of the battle he instantly asked if the New England militia had stood 
the fire of the British regulars, and when the whole story was told him he 
exclaimed, "The liberties of the country are safe." The spirit shown then and 
thereafter by our sturdy patriots is well illustrated by the story (chosen as the 
subject of one of our pictures) of the minister, who when in one battle there 
was a lack of wadding for the guns, brought out an armful of hymn books and 
exclaimed " Give them Watts, boys ! " 

The next clash of arms came from Canada. General Montgomery led two 
thousand of the militia against Montreal, by way of Lake Champlain, and easily 
captured it (November 12, 1775). Thence he descended the St. Lawrence to 



Quebec, where he joined forces with Benedict Arnold, who had brought twelve 

hundred men through the Maine wilderness, and the two Generals attacked 

the British stronghold of Quebec. The attempt was a failure ; Arnold was 

wounded, Montgomery was killed, and 

though the Americans fought gallantly 

they were driven back from Canada by "~-^=-<=-^__ TlH^^^^^g^^ 


superior forces. Meanwhile 
the siege of Boston was syste- 
matically carried on by Wash- 
ington, and in the spring of 
1776 the American General gained a 
commanding position by seizing Dor- 
chester Heights (which bore much the 
same relation to Boston on the South that Breed's Hill did on the North) and 
General Howe found himself forced to evacuate the city. He sailed with his 
whole force for Halifax, taking with him great numbers of American sym- 
pathizers with British rule, together with their property. 


The new Congress met at Philadelphia in May. During the first month of 
its sessions it became evident that there had been an immense advance in pub- 
lic opinion as to the real issue to be maintained. Several of the colonies had 
expressed a positive conviction that National independence must be demanded. 
Virginia had formally instructed her delegates to take that ground, and it was 
on the motion of Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia, seconded by John Adams, of 
Massachusetts, that Congress proceeded to consider the resolution "That these 
united colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent States ; that 
they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political 
connection between them and the State of Great Britain is and ought to be 
totally dissolved." This bold utterance was adopted on July 2d by all the colo- 
nies except New York. The opposition came mainly from Pennsylvania and 
New York, and was based, not on lack of patriotism, but on a feeling that the 
time for such an assertion had not yet come, that a stronger central government 
should first be established, and that attempts should be made to secure a for- 
eign alliance. It should be noticed that the strongest opponents of the measure, 
John Dickinson and Robert Morris, of Pennsylvania, were among the most 
patriotic supporters of the Union. To Robert Morris in particular, whose skill 
as a financier steered the young Nation through many a difficulty, the country 
owes a special debt of gratitude. The Declaration of Independence, formally 
adopted two days later, was written mainly by the pen of Thomas Jefferson. 
It is unique among State papers — a dignified though impassioned, a calm 
though eloquent, recital of injuries inflicted, demand for redress, and avowal of 
liberties to be maintained with the sword. Its adoption was hailed, the country 
through, as the birth of a new Nation. Never before has a country about to 
appeal to war to decide its fate put upon record so clear-toned and deliberate 
an assertion of its purposes and its reasons, and thus summoned the world and 
posterity to witness the justice and righteousness of its cause. 

Thus far in the war the engagements between the opposing forces had 
been of a detached kind — not related, that is, to any broad plan of attack or 
defense. Of the same nature also was the British expedition against South 
Carolina, led by Sir Henry Clinton and Lord Cornwallis. Their fleet attacked 
Charleston, but the fort was so bravely defended by Colonel Moultrie, from his 
palmetto-log fortifications on Sullivan's Island, that the fleet was forced to aban- 
don the attempt and to return to New York. But the British now saw that it 
was imperative to enter upon a distinct and extensive plan of campaign. That 
adopted was sagacious and logical ; Its failure was due, not to any inherent 
defect in itself but to lack of persistency in adhering to it. Washington under- 
stood it thoroughly from the first, and bent all his energies to tempting the 
enemy to diverge from the main object in view. The plan, in brief was this : 
New York City was to be seized and held as a base of supplies and centre of 


operations ; from it a stretch of country to the west was to be occupied and 
held, thus cutting off communication between New York and the New England 
States on the one side and Pennsylvania and the Southern States on the other. 
Meanwhile a force was to be pushed down from Canada to the head of the 
Hudson River, to be met by another force pushed northward up the Hudson, 
In this way New England would be practically surrounded, and it was thought 
that its colonies could be reduced one by one, while simultaneously or later an 
army could march southward upon Philadelphia. The plan was quite feasible, 
but probably at no time did the British have sufficient force to carry it out in 
detail. They wofully over-estimated, also, the assistance they might receive 
from the Tories in New York State. And they still more wofully under-esti- 
mated Washington's abihty as a strategist in blocking their schemes. 

General Howe, who was now Commander-in-Chief of the British army, 
drew his forces to a head upon Staten Island, combining there the troops which 
had sailed from Boston to Halifax, with Clinton's forces which had failed at 
Charleston, and the Hessians newly arrived. In all he had over thirty thousand 
soldiers. Washington, who had transferred his headquarters from Boston to 
the vicinity of New York after the former city had been evacuated by the 
British, occupied the Brooklyn Heights with about twenty thousand poorly 
equipped and undrilled colonial troops. To hold that position against the 
larger forces of regulars seemed a hopeless task ; but every point was to be 
contested. In point of fact, only five thousand of the Americans were engaged 
in the battle of Long Island (August 27, 1776) against twenty thousand men 
brought by General Howe from Staten Island. The Americans were driven 
back after a hotly contested fight. Before Howe could follow up his victory 
Washington planned and executed one of those extraordinary, rapid movements 
which so often amazed his enemy ; in a single night he withdrew his entire army 
across the East River into New York in boats, moving so secretly and swiftly 
that the British first found out what had happened when they saw the deserted 
camps before them on the following morning. Drawing back through the city 
Washington made his next stand at Harlem Heights, occupying Fort Washing- 
ton on the east and Fort Lee on the west side of the Hudson, thus guarding 
the line of the river while prepared to move southward toward Philadelphia if 
occasion should require. In the battle of White Plains the Americans suffered 
a repulse, but much more dispiriting to Washington was the disarrangement 
of his plans caused by the interference of Congress. That over-prudent body 
sent special orders to General Greene, at Fort Washington, to hold it at all 
odds, while Washington had directed Greene to be ready on the first attack to 
fall back upon the main army in New Jersey. The result was the capture of 
Fort Washington, with a loss of three thousand prisoners. To add to the 
misfortune. General Charles Lee, who commanded a wing of the American 


army on the east side of the river, absolutely ignored Washington's orders to 
join him. Lee was a soldier of fortune, vain, ambitious, and volatile, and there 
is little doubt that his disobedience was due to his hope that Washington was 
irretrievably ruined and that he might succeed to the command. Gathering his 
scattered troops together as well as he could, Washington retreated through 
New Jersey, meeting everywhere with reports that the colonists were in despair, 
that many had given in their allegiance to the British, that Congress had fled to 
Baltimore, and that the war was looked on as almost over. In this crisis it was 
an actual piece of rare good fortune that Charles Lee should be captured by 
soldiers while spending the night at a tavern away from his camp, for the result 
was that Lee's forces were free to join Washington's command, and at once 
did so. Altogether some six thousand men were left in the army, and 
were drawn into something like coherence on the other side of the Delaware 
River. General Howe announced that he had now nothing to do but wait the 
freezing of the Delaware, and then to cross over and "catch Washington and 
end the war." 

But he reckoned without his host. Choosing, as the best time for his bold 
and sudden movement, Christmas night, when revelry in the camp of the 
enemy might be hoped to make them careless, Washington crossed the river. 
Leading in person the division of twenty-five hundred men, which alone suc- 
ceeded in making the passage over the river, impeded as it was with great 
blocks of ice, he marched straight upon the Hessian outposts at Trenton and 
captured them with ease. Still his position was a most precarious one. Corn- 
wallis was at Princeton with the main British army, and marching directly upon 
the Americans, penned them up, as he thought, between Trenton and the 
Delaware. It is related that Cornwallis remarked, " At last we have run down 
the old fox, and we will bag him in the mornino-." But before morning came 
Washington had executed another surprising and decisive manoeuvre. Main- 
taining a great show of activity at his intrenchments, and keeping camp-fires 
brightly burning, he noiselessly led the main body of his army round the flank 
of the British force and marched straight northward upon Princeton, capturing 
as he went the British rear guard on its way to Trenton, seizing the British 
post of supplies at New Brunswick, and in the end securing a strong position 
on the hills in Northern New Jersey, with Morristown as his headquarters. 
There he could at last rest for a time, strengthen his army, and take advantage 
of the prestige which his recent operations had brought him. 

Let us turn our attention now to the situation further north. General 
Burgoyne had advanced southward from Canada through Lake Champlain and 
had easily captured Ticonderoga. His object was, of course, to advance in the 
same line to the south until he reached the Hudson River ; but this was a very 
different matter from what he had supposed it. General Schuyler was in com- 



mand of the Americans, and showed the highest mihtary skill in opposing Bur 
goyne's progress, cutting off his sup- 
plies and harassing hmi generall\. An 
expedition to assist Burgoyne had been ^^ 

sent down the St. Lawrence to Lake 
Ontario, thence to march eastward to 
the head of the Hudson, gathering aid 
as it went from the Indians and lories. 



• '-' ^'''^^i00 ' 



>v^^ - *^*^lKaMM^^^^^^^^^^^^MBy' This expedi 

tion was an 
utter failure ; 
a t Oriskany 
the Tories and 
British were defeated in a fiercely fought battle, in which a greater proportion 




of those engaged were killed than in any other battle of the war. Disheart- 
ened at this, and at the near approach of Benedict Arnold, St. Leger, who 
was at the head of the expedition, fled in confusion back to Canada. 
Meanwhile Burgoyne had sent out a detachment to gather supplies. This 
was utterly routed at Bennington by the Vermont farmers under General 
Stark. Through all the country round about the Americans were flocking to 
arms, their patriotism enforced by their horror at the atrocities committed by 
Burgoyne's Indian allies and by the danger to their own homes. Practically, 
Burgoyne was surrounded, and though he fought bravely in the battles of Still- 
water (September 19, 1777) and Bemis's Heights (October 7th), he was over- 
matched. Ten days after the last-named battle he surrendered with all his 
forces to General Gates, who was now at the head of the American forces in 
that vicinity and thus received the nominal honor of the result, although it was 
really due rather to the skill and courage of General Schuyler and General 
Arnold. Almost six thousand soldiers laid down their arms, and the artillery, 
small arms, ammunition, clothing, and other military stores which fell into Gen- 
eral Gates's hands were immensely valuable. Almost greater than the prac- 
tical gain of this splendid triumph was that of the respect at once accorded 
throughout the world to American courage and military capacity. 

General Burgoyne had every right to lay the blame for the mortifying 
failure of his expedition upon Howe, who had totally failed to carry out his 
part of the plan of campaign. It was essential to the success of this plan that 
Howe should have pushed an army up the Hudson to support Burgoyne. In 
leaving this undone he committed the greatest blunder of the war. Why he 
acted as he did was for a long while a mystery, but letters brought to light 
eighty years after the war was over show that he was strongly influenced by 
the traitorous arguments of his prisoner, Charles Lee, who for a time, at least, 
had decided to desert the American cause. While in this frame of mind he 
convinced Howe that there was plenty of time to move upon and seize 
Philadelphia and still come to Burgoyne's aid in season. Howe should have 
known Washington's methods better by this time. At first the British General 
attempted a march through New Jersey, but for nearly three weeks Washington 
blocked his movements, out-manceuvred him in the fencingf for advantaofe of 
position, and finally compelled him to withdraw, baffled, to New York. Though 
no fighting of consequence occurred in this period, it is, from the military 
standpoint, one of the most interesting of the entire war. The result was that 
Howe, unwilling to give up his original design, transported his army to the 
mouth of the Delaware by sea, then decided to make his attempt by way of 
Chesapeake Bay, and finally, after great delay, landed his forces at the head of 
that bay, fifty miles from Philadelphia. Washington interposed his army 
between the enemy and the city and for several weeks delayed its inevitable 


capture. In the Battle of Brandywine the Americans put eleven thousand 
troops in the field against eighteen thousand of the British, and were defeated, 
though by no means routed (September ii, 1777). After Howe had seized 
the city he found it necessary to send part of his army to capture the forts on 
the Delaware River, and this gave the Americans the opportunity of an attack 
with evenly balanced forces. Unfortunately, the battle of Germantown was, by 
reason of a heavy fog, changed into a confused conflict, in which some Americar 
regiments fired into others, and which ended in the retreat of our forces. 
Washington drew back and went into winter quarters at Valley Forge. Con- 
gress, on the approach of the enemy, had fled to York. Howe had accomplished 
his immediate object, but at what a cost ! The possession of Philadelphia had 
not appreciably brought nearer the subjugation of the former colonies, while 
the opportunity to co-operate with Burgoyne had been irretrievably lost, and, 
as we have seen, a great and notable triumph had been gained by the Americans 
in his surrender. 

The memorable winter which Washington spent at Valley Forge he often 
described as the darkest of his life. The course of the war had not been 
altogether discouraging, but he had to contend with the inaction of Congress, 
with cabals of envious rivals, and with the wretched lack of supplies and food. 
He writes to Congress that when he wished to draw up his troops to fight, the 
men were unable to stir on account of hunger, that 2898 men were unfit for 
duty because they were barefooted and half naked, that " for seven days past 
there has been little else than a famine in the camp." Meanwhile an intrigue 
to supersede Washington by Gates was on foot and nearly succeeded. The 
whole country also was suffering from the depreciated Continental currency 
and from the lack of power in the general government to lay taxes. What a 
contrast is there between Washington's position at this time and the enthusiasm 
with which the whole country flocked to honor him in the autumn of the first 
year of his Presidency (17S9), when he made a journey which was one long 
series of ovations. An Idea of the character of these is given in the accom- 
panying picture of his reception at Trenton, where the date on the triumphal 
arch recalled that famous Christmas night when he outwitted the British. 

But encouragement from abroad was at hand. Perhaps the most im- 
portant result of Burgoyne's surrender was its influence in procuring us the 
French Alliance. Already a strong sympathy had been aroused for the Amer- 
ican cause in France. The nobility were influenced in no small degree by the 
.sentimental and philosophical agitation for ideal liberty which preceded the 
brutal reality of the French Revolution. Lafayette, then a mere boy of 
eighteen, had fitted out a ship with supplies at his own e.xpense, and had 
laid his services at Washington's command. Our Commissioners to France 
— John Adams, Arthur Lee, and Benjamin Franklin^had labored night and 


day for the alliance. Franklin, in particular, had, by his shrewd and homely 
wit, his honesty of purpose and his high patriotism, made a profound im- 
pression upon the French people. We read that on one occasion he was 
made to embrace the role of an Apostle of Liberty at an elegant fcic where 
" the most beautiful of three hundred women was designated to go and place 
on the philosopher's white locks a crown of laurel, and to give the old man two 
kisses on his cheeks." Very "French" this, but not without its significance. 
But after all, the thing which turned the scale with the French Govern- 
ment was the partial success of our armies. France was only too willing, 
under favoring circumstances, to obtain its revenge upon Great Britain for 
many recent defeats and slights. So it was that in the beginning of 1778 the. 
independence of the United States was recognized by France and a fleet was ' 
sent to our assistance. During the winter, meanwhile, the thirteen States had 
adopted in Congress articles of confederation and perpetual union, which were 
slowly and hesitatingly ratified by the legislatures of the several States. 

The news of the reinforcements on their way from France, led Sir Henry 
Clinton, who had now succeeded Howe in the chief command of the British, to 
abandon Philadelphia, and mass his forces at New York. This he did in June, 
1778, sending part of the troops by sea and the rest northward, through New 
Jersey. Washington instantly broke camp, followed the enemy, and overtook 
him at Monmouth Court House. In the battle which followed the forces were 
equally balanced, each having about fifteen thousand men. The American 
attack was entrusted to Charles Lee, who had been exchanged, and whose 
treachery was not suspected. Again Lee disobeyed orders, and directed a 
retreat at the critical minute of the fight. Had Washington not arrived, the 
retreat would have been a rout ; as it was he turned it into a victory, driving 
the British from their position, and gained the honors of the day. But had it 
not been for Lee, this victory might have easily been made a crushing and final 
defeat for the British army. A court-martial held upon Lee's conduct expelled 
him from the army. Years later he died a disgraced man, though it is only in 
our time that the full extent of his dishonor has been understood. 

The scene of the most important military operations now changes from the 
Northern to the Southern States. But before speaking of the campaign which 
ended with Cornwallis's surrender, we may characterize the fighting in the 
North, which went on in the latter half of the war, as desultory and unsystem- 
atic in its nature. The French fleet under Count d'Estaing was unable to 
cross the New York bar on account of the depth of draught of its greatest 
ships ; and for that reason the attempt to capture New York City was aban- 
doned. Its next attempt was to wrest Rhode Island from the British. This 
also was defeated, partly because of a storm at a critical moment, partly 
through a misunderstanding with the American allies. After these two failures, 

1 62 


the French fleet sailed to the West Indies to injure British interests there. The 
assault on the fort at Stony Point by " Mad Anthony " Wayne has importance 
as a brilliant and thrilling episode, and was of 
value in strengthening our position on the Hudson 

River. All along the border the Tories were ^ii 

inciting the Indians to barbarous attacks. The . ^ S| 

most important and '* 

deplorable of these at- , • 


''*— r-^" " ■ — 

tacks were those which ended 
in the massacres at Wyoming, 
and Cherry Valley. Reprisals 
for these atrocities were taken 
'""■"'il by General Sullivan's expedi- 

tion, which defeated the Tories 
and Indians combined, near Elmira, with great slaughter. But all these events, 
like the British sudden attacks on the Connecticut ports of New Haven, 



Fairfield, and Norwalk, were, as we have said, rather detached episodes than 
related parts of a campaign. 

We should also note before entering upon the final chapter of the war, that 
Great Britain had politically receded from her position. Of her own accord 
she had offered to abrogate the offensive legislation which had provoked the 
colonies to war. But it was too late ; the proposition of peace commissioners 
sent to America to acknowledge the principle of taxation by colonial assemblies 


was not for a moment considered. The watchword of America was now 
Independence, and there was no disposition in any quarter to accept anything 
less than full recoo-nition of the rigfhts of the United States as a Nation. 

The second and last serious and concerted effort by the British to subjugate 
the American States had as its scene of operations our Southern territory. At 
first it seemed to succeed. A long series of reverses to the cause of independ- 
ence were reported from Georgia and South Carolina. The plan formed by 


Sir Henry Clinton and Cornwallis was, in effect, to begin at the extreme South 
and overpower one State after another until the army held in reserve about 
New York could co-operate with that advancing victoriously from the South. 
Savannah had been captured in 1778, while General Lincoln, who commanded 
our forces, was twice defeated with great loss — once at Brier Creek, in an advance 
upon Savannah, when his lieutenant. General Ashe, was actually routed with very 
heavy loss ; and once when Savannah had been invested by General Lincoln 
himself by land, while the French fleet under d'Estaing besieged the city by sea. 
In a short time Georgia was entirely occupied by the British. They were soon 
reinforced by Sir Henry Clinton in person, with an army, and the united forces 
moved upward into South Carolina with thirteen thousand men. Lincoln was 
driven into Charleston, was there besieged, and (May 12, 1780) was forced to 
surrender not only the city but his entire army. A desultory but brilliant 
guerrilla warfare was carried on at this time by the Southern militia and light 
cavalry under the dashing leadership of Francis Marion, " the Swamp Fo.x," 
and the partisan, Thomas Sumter. 

These men were privateers on horseback. Familiar with the tangled swamps 
and always well mounted, even though in rags themselves, they were the terror 
of the invaders. At the crack of their rifles the pickets of Cornwallis fled, 
leaving a score of dead behind. The dreaded cavalry of Tarleton often came 
back from their raids with many a saddle emptied by the invisible foes. They 
were here, they were everywhere. Their blows were swift and sure ; their 
vigilance sleepless. Tarleton had been sent by Cornwallis with a force of 
seven hundred cavalry to destroy a patriot force in North Carolina, under Bu~ 
ford, which resulted in his utterly destroying about four hundred of the patriots 
at Waxhaw, the affair being more of a massacre than a battle. Thus the name 
of Tarleton came to be hated in the South as that of Benedict Arnold was in 
the North. He was dreaded for his celerity and cruelty. As illustrative of the 
spirit of the Southern colonists, we may be pardoned for the digression of the 
following anecdote. The fiofhtingf of Marion and his men was much like that of 
the wild Apaches of the southwest. When hotly pursued by the enemy his 
command would break up into small parties, and these as they were hard pressed 
would subdivide, until nearly every patriot was fleeing alone. There could be 
no successful pursuit, therefore, since the subdivision of the pursuing party 
weakened it too much. 

" We will give fifty pounds to get within reach of the scamp that galloped 
by here, just ahead of us," exclaimed a lieutenant of Tarleton's cavalry, as he 
and three other troopers drew up before a farmer, who was hoeing in the field 
by the roadside. 

The farmer looked up, leaned on his hoe, took off his old hat and mopping 
his forehead with his handkerchief looked at the angry soldier and said : — 



"Fifty pounds is a big lot of money." 

"So it is in these times, but we'll give it to you in gold, if you'll show 

us where we can get ^,,...:..:.: = 

a chance at the rebel ; 
did you see him ? " 

"He was all 
alone, was 
he? And 


he was mounted on a black horse with a white star in his forehead, and he 
was going like a streak of lightning, wasn't he ?" 


" That's the fellow!" exclaimed the questioners, hoping they were about 
to get the knowledge they wanted. 

" It looked to me like Jack Davis, though he went by so fast that I couldn't 
get a square look at his face, but he was one of Marion's men, and if I ain't 
greatly mistaken it was Jack Davis himself" 

Then looking up at the four British horsemen, the farmer added, with a 
quizzical expression : — 

" I reckon that ere Jack Davis has hit you chaps pretty hard, ain't he ? " 

" Never mind about that" replied the lieutenant ; "what we want to know 
is where we can get a chance at him for just about five minutes." 

The farmer put his cotton handkerchief into his hat, which he now slowly 
replaced, and shook his head : " I don't think he's hiding round here," he said ; 
"when he shot by Jack was going so fast that it didn't look as if he could stop 
under four or five miles. Strangers, I'd like powerful well to earn that fifty 
pounds, but I don't think you'll get a chance to squander it on me." 

After some further questioning, the lieutenant and his men wheeled their 
horses and trotted back toward the main body of Tarleton's cavalry. The 
farmer plied his hoe for several minutes, gradually working his way toward the 
stretch of woods some fifty yards from the roadside. Reaching the margin of 
the field, he stepped in among the trees, hastily took off his clothing, tied it up 
in a bundle, shoved it under a flat rock from beneath which he drew a suit no 
better in quality, but showing a faint semblance to a uniform. Putting it on 
and then plunging still deeper into the woods, he soon reached a dimly-marked 
track, which he followed only a short distance, when a gentle whinney fell upon 
his ear. The next moment he vaulted on the back of a bony but blooded horse, 
marked by a beautiful star in his forehead. The satin skin of the steed shone 
as though he had been traveling hard, and his rider allowed him to walk along 
the path for a couple of miles, when he entered an open space where, near a 
spring, Francis Marion and fully two hundred men were encamped. They were 
eating, smoking and chatting as though no such horror as war was known. 

You understand, of course, that the farmer that leaned on his hoe by the 
roadside and talked to Tarleton's lieutenant about Jack Davis and his exploits 
was Jack Davis himself 

Marion and his men had many stirring adventures. A British officer, sent 
to settle some business with Marion, was asked by him to stay to dinner. 
Marion was always a charming gentleman, and the visitor accepted the 
invitation, but he was astonished to find that the meal consisted only of 
baked sweet potatoes served on bark. No apology was made, but the guest 
could not help asking his host whether that dinner was a specimen of his 
regular bill of fare. "It is," replied Marion, "except that to-day, in honor of 
your presence, we have more than the usual allowance." 



North Carolina was now in danger, and it was to be defended by the 
overrated General Gates, whose 
campaign was marked by every in- _ 

dication of military incapacity. His , " "^f ' ■*- "^ • ^- =- 

attacks were invariably made reck- 
lessly, and his positions were ill- 
chosen. At 
Camden he -,e*=. -=^1^* 


was utterly and disgracefully 
defeated by Lord Cornwallis 
(August 16, 1780). It seemed 
now as if the British forces could easily hold the territory already won and 
could advance safely into Virginia. This was, indeed, one of the darkest 
periods in the history of our war, and even Washington was inclined to despair. 


To add to the feeling of despondency came the news of Benedict Arnold's 
infamous treachery. In the early part of the war he had served, not merely 
with credit but with the highest distinction. Ambitious and passionate by temper, 
he had justly been indignant at the slights put upon him by the promotion over 
his head of several officers who were far less entitled than he to such a reward. 
He had also, perhaps, been treated with undue severity in his trial by court- 
rnartial on charges relating to his accounts and matters of discipline. No doubt 
he was greatly influenced by his marriage to a lady of great beauty, who was in 
intimate relations with many of the leading Tories. It is more than probable, 
still further, that he believed the cause of American independence could never 
be won. But neither explanations nor fancied wrongs in the least mitigate the 
baseness of his conduct. He deliberately planned to be put in command of 
West Point, with the distinct intention of handing it over to the British in return 
for thirty thousand dollars in money and a command in the British army. It 
was almost an accident that the emissary between Arnold and Clinton, Major 
Andre was captured by Paulding and his rough but incorruptible fellows. 
Andre's personal charm and youth created a feeling of sympathy for him, but it 
cannot be for a moment denied that he was justly tried and executed, in accor- 
dance with the law of nations. Had Arnold's attempt succeeded, it is more 
than likely that the blow dealt our cause would have been fatal. His subse- 
quent service in the British army only deepened the feeling of loathing with which 
his name was heard by Americans ; while even his new allies distrusted and 
despised him, and at one time Cornwallis posidvely refused to act in concert 
with him. 

A bright and cheering contrast to this dark episode is that of the glorious 
victories at sea won by John Paul Jones, who not only devastated British com- 
merce, but, in a desperately fought naval battle, captured two British men-of-war, 
the " Serapis " and the "Countess of Scarborough," and carried the new 
American flag into foreign ports with the prestige of having swept everything 
before him on the high seas. Here was laid the foundation of that reputation 
for intrepidity and gallantry at sea which the American navy so well sustained 
in our second war with Great Britain. 

As the year 1780 advanced, the campaign in the South began to assume a 
more favorable aspect. General Greene was placed in command of the 
American army and at once began a series of rapid and confusing movements, 
now attacking the enemy in front, now cutting off his communications in the 
rear, but always scheming for the advantage of position, and usually obtaining 
it. He was aided ably by " Light Horse Harry " Lee and by General Morgan. 
Even before his campaign began the Bridsh had suffered a serious defeat at 
King's Mountain, just over the line between North and South Carolina, where 
a body of southern and western backwoodsmen had cut to pieces and finally 


captured a British detachment of twelve hundred men. Greene followed up 
this victory by sending Morgan to attack one wing of Cornwallis's army at 
Cowpens, near by King's Mountain, where again a large body of the enemy 
were captured with a very slight loss on the part of the Americans. Less 
decisive was the battle of Guilford Court House (March 15, 1781), which was 
contested with great persistency and courage by both armies. At the end of 
the day the British held the field, but the position was too perilous for Corn- 
wallis to maintain longf, and he retreated forthwith to the coast. General Greene 
continued to seize one position after another, driving the scattered bodies of the 
British through South Carolina and finally meeting them face to face at Eutaw 
Springs, where another equally contested battle took place ; in which, as at 
Guilford, the British claimed the honors of the day, but which also resulted in 
their ultimately giving away before the Americans and intrenching themselves 
in Charleston. Now, indeed, the British were to move into V^irmnia, not as 
they had originally planned, but because the more southern States were no 
longer tenable. It seemed almost as if Greene were deliberately driving them 
northward, so that in the end they might lie between two American armies. 
But they made a strong stand at Yorktown, in which a small British army 
under Benedict Arnold was already in possession and had been opposed by 

Washington, who had been watchingf the course of events with the keen 
eye of the master strategist, saw that the time had come for a decisive blow. 
The French fleet was sent to the Chesapeake, and found little difficulty in re- 
ducing the British force and approaching Yorktown by sea. Washington's own 
army had been lying along the Hudson, centered at West Point, ready to meet 
any movement by Sir Henry Clinton's army at New York. Now Washington 
moved southward down the Hudson into the upper part of New Jersey. It was 
universally believed that he was about to attack the British at New York. Even 
his own officers shared this belief But with a rapidity that seems astonishing, 
and with the utmost skill in handling his forces, Washington led them swiftly 
on, still in the line toward the south, and before Clinton had grasped his inten- 
tion he was well on his way to Virginia. Cornwallis was now assailed both by 
land and by sea ; he occupied a peninsula, from which he could not escape 
e.xcept by forcing a road through Washington's united army of sixteen thousand 
men. The city of Yorktown was bombarded for three weeks. An American 
officer writes : "The whole peninsula trembles under the incessant thunderings 
of our infernal machines." General Rochambeau who had been placed in com- 
mand of the French forces in America, actively co-operated with Washington. 
The meeting of the two great commanders forms the subject of one of our 
illustrations. Good soldier and good general as Cornwallis was, escape was 
impossible. On October 19, 1781, he suffered the humiliation of a formal sur- 


render of his army of over seven thousand men, with two hundred and forty 
cannon, twenty-eight regimental standards, and vast quantities of mihtary stores 
and provisions. When Lord North, the Enghsh Minister, heard of the 
surrender, we are told, he paced the floor in deep distress, and cried, "O God, 
it is all over ! " 

And so it was, in fact. The cause of American independence had practi- 
tically been won. Hostilities, it is true, continued in a feeble and half-hearted 
way, and it was not until September, 1783, that the Treaty of Peace secured by 
John Jay, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin was actually signed — a treaty 
which was not only honorable to us, but which, in the frontier boundaries 
adopted, was more advantageous than even our French allies were inclined 
to approve, giving us as it did the territory westward to the Mississippi and 
southward to Florida. Great Britain as a nation had become heartily sick and 
tired of her attempt to coerce her former colonies. As the war progressed she 
had managed to involve herself in hostilities not only with France, but with 
Spain and Holland, and even with the native princes of India. Lord North's 
Ministry fell, the star of the younger Pitt arose into the ascendency, and 
George the Third's attempt to establish a purely personal rule at home and 
abroad was defeated beyond redemption. 

As we read of the scanty recognition given by the American States to the 
soldiers who had fought their battles ; as we learn that it was only Wash- 
ington's commanding influence that restrained these soldiers, half starved and 
half paid, from compelling that recognition from Congress by force ; as we 
perceive how many and serious were the problems of finance and of govern- 
ment distracting the State Legislatures ; as, in short, we see the political 
disintegration and chaotic condition of affairs in the newly born Nation, we 
recognize the fact that the struggle which had just ended so triumphantly was 
but the prelude to another, more peaceful but not less vital, struggle — that for 
the founding of a strong, coherent, and truly National Government. The latter 
struggle began before the Revolution was over and lasted until, in 1787, by 
mutual concession and mutual compromise was formed the Constitution of the 
United States. 





Professor of American Constitutional History, University of Pennsylvania, 

At the time of the colonization of America the land of Great Britain was 
controlled, if not owned, by not more than a hundred men, and political 
privileges were exercised by less than a thousand times as many. The 
principal rights of the masses were of a civil nature. The jury trial was an 

ancient right guaranteed by Magna Charta, 
but by the union of church and state, the 
thought and the activities of the Eng-lish 
people were authoritatively uniform, and 
any departure from traditional belief, 
either in matters ecclesiastical or civil, was 
viewed with disapproval. 

But a people of so diversified a 
genius for good government as are the 
people of Anglo-Saxon stock could not 
long remain subject to serious limitations 
on their prosperity. America was the 
opportunity for liberty, the first opportu- 
nity for the diversification of Anglo-Saxon 
energies, and for the realization of the 
hopes of mankind. There is a uniformity 
in the development of human affairs. 
Agriculture is improved in means and 
Methods by improvements in manufactures, and a larger conception of the 
nature of the State always finds response in the home comforts of the people. 
The opportunities of America caused greater comfort and happiness among 
the English people who stayed at home. 

The colonization of America by the English was after two systems, that of the 


Till >i-;i'F, I'll. n. 


commercial enterprise, that of the religious undertaking : the commercial system 
was illustrated in the Virginia enterprise, the religious undertaking, in the New- 
England. Sir Walter Raleigh had conceived of planting a colony in the Carolinas, 
but his colony, had it succeeded, would have been a repetition of an English 
shire, continuing the limitations on the common life, the limitations of property 
and condition incident to English life at the close of the sixteenth century. 
Providence saved America for larger undertakings, and though the ideas of 
Raleigh were at the foundation of the first Virginia adventure, the charter of 
1606 gave larger privileges to the adventurers than had the charter to Raleigh 
or to Gilbert of nearly a quarter of a century before ; and the first adventure 
to Virginia demonstrated that a new age had come, for the conditions of life in 
the wilderness would not permit the transplanting of the feudal system, and the 
enterprise failed because it lacked men and women who were willing to work 
and to make homes for themselves. 

The second charter of three years later gave larger inducements to embark 
in the undertaking, but little guarantee of privilege to individuals who might 
seek their fortunes in Virginia. It was yet two years before King James 
granted the third charter empowering the little colony at Jamestown to enter 
upon the serious undertaking of local self-government. 

As soon as the instincts of the Anglo-Saxon could have room in America 
for the exercise of those persistent ideas which make the glory of the race, the 
winning of American liberty was assured. A little Parliament was called in 
Virginia, and this assembly of a score of men began the long history of free 
legislation, which, in spite of many errors, has given expression to the wishes 
of millions of men in America who have toiled in its fields, worked in its fac- 
tories, instructed in its schools, directed its finances, controlled its trade, devel- 
oped its mines, and spread its institutions westward over the continent. But the 
first victory of liberty was in the forum, not in the field. 

The ancient and undoubted rights of the people of England gave to the 
inhabitants of each borough the right to representation in Parliament, and the 
plantations in Virginia, becoming the first shires of the New World, became also 
the first units of civil jurisdiction. The planters claimed and exercised the 
right to choose deputies to meet in General Court in the colony for the purpose 
of considering the wants of the various plantations, and particularly for the pur- 
pose of levying such taxes as might be required for the general welfare. The 
long struggle for liberty in America began when the House of Burgesses in 
Virginia asserted and assumed its right to levy the taxes of the colony, to 
vote the supplies to the governor, and to control the financial affairs of the 

The New England settlements from Plymouth to Portland, following hard 
after the settlements in Virginia, began local government after the same model. 




The town-meeting was the local democracy which examined and discussed 
freely all matters of local interest. In the town-meeting assembled the free- 
men who wrote and spoke as they thought; elected "men of their own choos- 
ing," and made laws to please themselves ; chose both servants to execute 
and to administer the laws, and held their representatives responsible for their 
pubhc service. But the local communities in New England, — the several towns, 
—soon applied the representative principle in government, and each town 

chose its deputies to meet 
with the deputies of other 
towns in General Assembly 
for the purpose of taking 
info consideration the affairs 
of the colony. 

The settlers in Salem and 
Boston, when they arrived 
with John Winthrop, had 
brouoht with them a Great 
Charter, transferrino; the gfov- 
ernment from old England 
to Massachusetts, and there 
they enlarged the member- 
ship of the Company of 
Massachusetts Bay.and trans- 
formed the government into 
a representative republic. 
The inhabitants of Virginia 
had not authority to elect 
their own governor, save for 
a short time during the days 
of the Commonwealth in 
England, but for more than 


Massachusetts chose all their 
public officers and instructed them at their pleasure. The immediate responsi- 
bility of the representative of the town to the townsmen was the fundamental 
notion in the New England idea of government. 

But the representative republic, the commonwealth, of New England, was 
not composed of freemen only, for there were many inhabitants of Massachu- 
setts who were excluded from participation in the political life of the colony. 
During the half century of government under the old charter, the people of 
Massachusetts comprised both church members and non-church members, 


but only the church members were eligible to public office. Persons dis- 
senting from the congregational polity in church and state, persons not 
communicants in the orthodox establishment, were excluded from direct 
participation in the government ; they could not vote, they could not hold 
office, their children could not be baptized. When Charles II caused the 
forfeiture of the Massachusetts charter in 1684, although the liberty of 
Massachusetts seemed greatly endangered, yet a nearer approach to the 
definition of liberty was made ; for the careless King, in order to win approval 
of his procedure among the colonists, had already intimated his desire to 
enlarge the franchise in Massachusetts, and to open the privileges of freedom 
more liberally to the inhabitants of the colony. This proposition to enlarge 
the liberties of the inhabitants met with disfavor among the conservatives, and 
the voice of the established church in the colony was raised against the in- 

In spite, however, of the limitations on the political rights of the inhabitants 
of Massachusetts, their civil rights were carefully guarded and freely exercised. 
It should be observed that throughout the history of America the ancient civil 
rights under Anglo-Saxon institutions have generally been carefully observed. 

The winning of liberty in America has been largely the liberty of exercising 
political rights, until it has become common to estimate all privileges in America 
by the standard of political freedom. We should not forget that there are other 
rights than those political ; there are moral, civil, and industrial rights, whose, 
exercise is as important for the welfare of the citizen as is the exercise of rights 

The winning of civil independence is the glory of the barons of 1215 ; for 
it was impossible for them to win civil rights for themselves without winning 
civil rights for the whole nation, and the application of the principle for which 
they struggled was necessarily universal, so that the humble tenant of the 
landed estate must participate in the privileges of civil liberty. 

The New England colonists, moving westward and southwestward over the 
domain which we call New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, 
spread the customs of civil privilege and carried with them the constitution of 
government to which they had been accustomed. Williams, in Rhode Island, 
attempted a pure democracy, which in its early days was a tumultuous assem- 
blage, but taught by experience became a happy and prosperous community. 
Connecticut, differing but slightly in its colonial ideas from those of Massachu- 
setts, was empowered by its liberal charter of 1663 to become almost an 
independent commonwealth. The whole spirit of the New England people in 
government was to exercise liberty in civil affairs and a qualified liberty in 
political affairs. The civil rights of the inhabitants of New England down to 
the time of the Revolution were quite uniform, but their political rights were 


determined by qualifications of property, of religious opinion, of sex, of age, 
and of residence. 

The old English idea of political right carried with it similar qualifications, 
and the conservative Virginians, like the conservative people of New England, 
could not conceive of citizenship apart from a landed estate and estabUshed re- 
ligious opinions. Were we to use the language of our day we should say that 
the voter in colonial times was required, whether citizen of a northern or of a 
southern colony, to subscribe to a creed and to possess an acreage. At a time 
when land was to be had without cost, save of labor and cultivation, the qualifica- 
tion of real property was not a heavy burden, and so long as the earnest judg- 
ment of the majority of the inhabitants favored the supremacy of any ecclesiastical 
system, conformity to that system was equally easy ; but as soon as free investi- 
gation of the questions of church and state became the spirit of the age, there 
would necessarily follow modification in the requirements for citizenship, and the 
qualifications for an elector would necessarily change. 

In all the charters establishing colonial governments there was inserted a 
provision that the legislation permitted to the colonial Assemblies created by the 
charters should be as nearly as may be according to the laws of England. This 
provision recognized the necessity for a liberal interpretation of legislative grants 
to the colonial Assemblies. Isolated from the home government and left to 
themselves, the colonists learned the habits of self-government and they made 
most liberal interpretations of their charters. The House of Burgesses in Vir- 
ginia and its successors throughout the land construed the privileges of legisla- 
tion practically as the admission of their independence, and colonial legislation 
was a departure from parliamentary control. 

The local American Assemblies, the colonial legislatures, were composed 
of two branches : the upper, consisting of the governor and his council ; the 
lower, of the representatives, or delegates, from the counties or towns. The 
latter, after the manner of the English burgesses, the representatives of the 
counties and towns in the colony, took control of the taxing power in America. 

England, by her navigation laws, compelled the colonies to transport all 
their productions in English ships, manned by Englishmen and sailing to 
English ports ; no manufacturing was allowed in the colonies, and inter-colonial 
trade was discouraged. The immediate consequence of the navigation acts, 
which to the number of about thirty were passed from time to time in the British 
Parliament, was to keep the colonies in an agricultural condition, to strip them 
of srold and silver coin, and to leave them to their own devices to find substi- 
tutes for money ; for, unable to manufacture the articles they needed, they were 
obliged to buy these articles principally in England, and to pay for them either 
with the raw productions which they exported or with coin, and the exportation 
of coin from the colonies was relatively as great as the exportation of produce. 



^^K^' ' 







.G-Vx-kS ... 




Money is the instrument of exchange and the means of association ; the 
colonists were compelled to exchange, and to seek that economic association 
which is the assurance and the health of civil life. 


The people were constantly clamoring for more money and for the issuing 
of a circulating medium. Massachusetts, in the middle of the seventeenth ' 
century had set up a mint, which coined a small quantity of shillings ; but the i 


mint was a trespass upon the sovereign right of the king and had no 
legal standing in the kingdom. The colonists, therefore, soon entered upon 
the experiment of making substitutes for money. Paper money, in a great 
variety of forms, was issued by the colonial Assemblies, and the issues_ were 
made chiefly for local circulation. The paper money of New Jersey circulated 
in New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, and to a less amount as the distance 
from New Jersey increased. New England money was little known in the 
southern colonies, and the paper issues of the Carolinas were rarely seen in 
New York. There was no acquaintance, no public faith common to the colonies, 
and although sanguinary laws were made to maintain the value of paper issues, 
there is evidence that counterfeits were almost as common as the original bills. 

So long as the issue of paper money was limited, and the colony which is- 
sued it had perfect faith in its value, the issue circulated, though its value con- 
stantly tended to depreciate throughout the colony ; but there was no unit of 
measure, no fixed standard of values, and it was quite impossible to fix the 
value of the issue in one colony by that of any issue in another colony. By the 
time the American Revolution was passed, the over-issue of paper moneys was 
evident to all thoughtful people, but there was no production of gold or 
silver ; there was little export of commodities which brought in coin, and the 
Legislatures of the various States — for so the General Assemblies of the colonies 
had now become — were compelled to enter upon a course of legislation, having 
in view the maintenance of a truly valuable circulating medium. 

Another great question had meantime been brought forward : the relation 
of the local communities to the common or general government. As early as 
1643 the New England colonies, comprising committees of "like membership 
in the church," had consolidated for the purpose of defense and general wel- 
fare, and the principle which led to the union was the principle which led to the 
"more perfect union" of a hundred and thirty years later. If any change 
should come over the colonies by which the people should become like minded, 
as were the inhabitants of the New England colonies in 1643, then a union of 
the people of the colonies could be made. One of the causes which led to the 
American Revolution was this latent but powerful tendency in the colonies 
toward a common understandino- of their character, conditions, and wants. 

The local Assemblies of the colonies had assumed unto themselves gradu- 
ally what may be called the prerogatives of legislation. They enacted laws on 
the whole range of subjects political, industrial, social, and ecclesiastical. They 
did not hesitate to attempt to solve any of the questions which arose from time 
to time, and as they attempted the solution of the economic questions of the 
colonies, they departed further and further from the strict interpretation of their 
charters, and made laws less and less "as near as may be conformable to the 
laws of England." But the Assemblies were uniform in claiming and in exercis- 


ing the right of levying taxes. As delegates of the people, they assumed the 
exclusive right of distributing the burden of the State upon the inhabitants. 
This assumption was never acknowledged by the King or by Parliament ; for it 
was an assumption which denied the sovereignty of the King, and the su- 
premacy of Parliament in legislation. The liberty to levy taxes was the greatest 
privilege in practical government claimed by the Americans of the colonial era, 
and the winning of colonial independence was the victory of freedom in 

While the latent tendency in the colonies was undoubtedly toward union, it 
may be said that there never existed colonies which exhibited stronger tendencies 
to diversity than the English colonies in America. The whole range of American 
life was toward individualism, and the freedom from those restrictions which 
ever characterize older communities favored the tendency. As the New 
England people went into the west, planting civil institutions in New York 
and along the southern shores of the Great Lakes, the individualistic 
tendencies in religion, in politics, in education, and invention strengthened 
with every wave of population. As the Virginians and the Carolinians passed 
over the mountains, they also were strengthened in their individualistic 
notions, and the founders of Kentucky and of Tennessee, while following their 
instincts and the customs of the tide-water region whence they came, enlarged 
upon their notions, and organized government under more liberal provisions 
than those which prevailed eastward over the mountains. While the continental 
troops were winning the victories of the Revolution, the settlers in the State of 
Franklin were claiming independence. 

It is an error to suppose that the people of the colonies were unanimous 
in demanding independence, or that the majority of them supported the idea 
or, it may be said, ever understood its true meaning. The thirteen Colonies 
entered upon the struggle at a time when the United Kingdom was unable to 
compel them to submit to the legislation of Parliament. England possessed 
no great soldiers who could direct her armies in America ; the colonies were 
therefore free to convert all the advantages of their isolation into a strong 
self-defense. Colonial legislation had isolated them, the imperfect facilities 
in transportation isolated them, and the whole tendencies of colonial institu- 
tions strengthened them in this isolation. 

The assumption of the taxing power by the Lower House in the several 
colonies, and its persistent exercise for more than a century and a half, neces- 
sarily brought Parliament and the local Assemblies into collision. The Navi- 
gation Acts and the Stamp Act were financial measures of Parliament for the 
purpose of raising an imperial revenue in the colonies. A clearer idea is 
gained of the reasons for the hostility against this Parllmentary measure when 
we reflect that no common taxing power was known to the colonists ; the 



local Legislature of each colony was supreme within its jurisdiction ; a propo- 
sition for a continental power which could levy a tax for continental pur- 
poses had never been entertained by the colonists and they would have 
resented a proposition emanating from among themselves for continental tax- 
ation quite as quickly as they resented the proposition in Parliament to levy 
a tax on tea. The continuous legislation of the local Assemblies had taught 
the Americans to believe that local interests were supreme. It can now be 
seen that the Stamp Act and the Tea Tax operated to compel the colonies 
toward the union which they would in all probability never have made of 
themselves without this external pressure. 

The throwing overboard of the tea in Boston harbor is a picturesque 
incident in American history, because it stands for the fundamental idea of 
American right — the right of the taxpayer to levy taxes through his represent- 

As soon as Parliament closed the port of Boston, a latent tendency in 
American affairs was displayed in various parts of the country, and nowhere 
more clearly than in Virginia, where Patrick Henry, in an address to the Con- 
vention of delegates, with vision enlarged by the tendency of affairs, declared 
the relations of the colonies to the home government. Petitions, remonstrances, 
supplications, and prostrations before the throne had been in vain; "the 
inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending," the privi- 
leges of independent colonial taxation and of choosing delegates to levy the 
taxes, could be preserved only by war ; "three millions of people armed in the 
holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are 
invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us." For the first 
time Massachusetts and Virginia were united in a common sense of danger, 
and the danger consisted chiefly in the denial of the right of the local legisla- 
ture, chosen by qualified electors, to levy a tax, and the assumption of the 
exclusive right of the British Parliament to levy a continental tax directly, 
ignoring the popular branch of the colonial Legislatures. 

From a consideration of colonial finances it seems clear that the Americans 
were not so unwilling to pay a trifling duty on tea, on legal papers, and on 
painters' material, as they were to admit the right of the British Parliament itself 
to levy the tax. Had the proposition to tax America embodied a provision that the 
tax should be levied by the local Legislatures, the American Revolution would 
have been long delayed. It cannot be said that the Americans would have 
accepted representation in Parliament as a compensation for the tax. The first 
Declaration of Rights, in 1765, had settled that point. The American colonists 
were English subjects, and entitled to all the rights and liberties of natural born 
subjects within the kingdom of Great Britain, and, exercising the undoubted 
rights of Englishmen they insisted " that no tax be imposed on them but with 


their own consent, given personally or by their representatives," and " that the 
people of these colonies are not, and from their local circumstances cannot be, 
represented in the House of Commons in Great Britain," and "that the only 
representatives of the people of these colonies are persons chosen therein by 
themselves, and that no taxes ever have been or can be constitutionally 
imposed on them but by their respective Legislatures." All supplies to 
the crown were "the free gifts of the people." The claim of the Americans 
at that time might be illustrated if the people of the United States should 
now insist that the revenue for the National Government should be 
collected through the lower branch of the State Legislatures, but to make 
the illustration go on all fours we should have to suppose that the people 
of the several States were not represented and did not care to be represented 
in Congress. 

The objection to an imperial tax involved the whole issue of the war, for it 
involved the fundamental idea of government in America, the idea of represen- 
tative government. It was not representation of the Americans in the British 
parliament, it was the representation of the Americans in their own Legislatures. 
One of the tests of independence is the possession of the right to levy taxes ; 
if England withdrew her claim to levy a continental tax directly through Parlia- 
ment, the independence of the colonies was at once acknowledged. It is evident 
then that the question of taxation goes to the foundation of American institu- 
tions, and from the time of the calling of the House of Burgesses in 1619 unto 
the present hour, the definition of liberty in America has depended upon the 
use or the abuse of the taxing power. As soon as the Continental Congress 
attempted to levy a tax, it became unpopular. 

The time from the revolt against the stamp duties in 1775 to the inaugura- 
tion in 1 789 of the National Government under which we live has been called 
the critical period of American history. It was a period which displayed all the 
inaptitude of the Americans for sound financiering. There is hardly an evil in 
finances that cannot be illustrated by some event in American affairs at that 
time. The Americans began the war without any preparation, they conducted 
it on credit, and at the end of fourteen years three millions of people were five 
hundred millions of dollars or more in debt. The exact amount will never be 
known. Congress and the State Legislatures issued paper currency in unlimited 
quantities and upon no security. The Americans were deceived themselves in 
believing that their products were essential to the welfare of Europe, and all 
European nations would speedily make overtures to them for the control of 
American commerce. It may be said that the Americans wholly over-estimated 
their importance in the world at that time ; they thought that to cut off 
England from American commerce would ruin England ; they thought that 
the bestowal of their commerce upon France would enrich France so much 


that the French King, for so inestimable a privilege, could well afford to loan 
them, and even to give them, money. 

The doctrine of the rights of man ran riot in America. Paper currency 
became the infatuation of the day. It was thought that paper currency would 
meet all the demands for money, would win American independence. Even so 
practical a man as Franklin, then in France, said: "This effect of paper cur- 
rency is not understood on this side the water ; and, indeed, the whole is a 
mystery even to the politicians, how we have been able to continue a war four 
years without money, and how we could pay with paper that had no previously 
fixed fund appropriated specifically to redeem it. This currency, as we manage 
it, is a wonderful machine : it performs its office when we issue it ; it pays and 
clothes troops and provides victuals and ammunition, and when we are obliged 
to issue a quantity excessive, it pays itself off by depreciation." 

If the taxing power is the most august power in government, the abuse of 
the taxing power is the most serious sin government can commit. No one 
will deny that the Americans are guilty of committing most grievous financial 
offenses during the critical period of their history. They abused liberty by 
demanding and by exercising the rights of nationality, and at the same time by 
neglecting or refusing to burden themselves with the taxation necessary to 
support nationality. 

It has long been the custom to describe the American Revolution as a 
righteous uprising of an abused people against a cruel despot ; we were 
taught in school that taxation without representation was tyranny, and that our 
fathers fought the war out on this broad principle. Much of this assumption 
is true, but it is also true that the winning of American independence was not 
complete until Americans had adequately provided for the wants of nationality 
by authorizing their representatives in State Legislatures and in the Congress 
of the United States to support the dignity which liberty had conferred, by an 
adequate system of common taxation. We now consider the American Revolu- 
tion as the introduction to American nationality. 

The hard necessities which brought the Americans to a consciousness of 
their obligations, led to the calling of the Constitutional Convention in Phila- 
delphia in 1787. If the liberty of self-government was won by the war, it was 
secured by the Constitution ; for the first effort toward a national government, the 
old Confederation, utterly failed, for lack of a Supreme Legislative, a Supreme 
Executive, and a Supreme Judiciary. The government under the Articles of 
Confederation broke down wholly in its effort to collect money. This collapse of 
the Confederation emphasized the difference between the theory and the admin- 
istration of government, for the articles of Confederation and the Declaration 
of Independence emanated from two committees appointed the same day : 
the report of one committee was the Declaration of Independence, which was 



debated but little and universally adopted a few days after it was reported ; 
the report of the other committee, the Articles of Confederation, was debated 
in Congress for more than a year and in the State Legislatures for nearly five 
years, and when at last adopted, it was found that the Articles were wholly 
inadequate for the wants of the people. The reason for the different fate of 
these two instruments is clear ; the Declaration formulated a theorj' of gov- 
ernment, it created no officers, it called for no taxes, it stated in a pleasing 
form opinions common to thoughtful men in the country, it formulated a 
pleasing theory for the foundation of government. On the other hand the 
Articles attempted to provide for the administration of government, it estab- 
lished offices and it called for taxes, and necessarily provoked support and 
hostility ; for while men might agree as to the common theory of government in 
America, they speedily fell to differing about the methods of civil administration. 

The inability of the Congress of the Confederation to legislate under the 
provisions of the Articles compelled their amendment ; for while the exigencies 
of war had forced the colonies into closer union, — a " perpetual league of friend- 
ship," they had also learned additional lessons in the theory and administration 
of local government, for each of the colonies, with the exception of Connecticut 
and Rhode Island, had transformed colonial government into government under 
a constitution. The people had not looked to Congress as a central power, 
they considered it as a central committee of the States. The individualistic 
tendencies of the colonies strengrthened when the colonies transformed them- 
selves into commonwealths. 

The struggle, which began between the thirteen colonies and the imperial 
Parliament, was now transformed into a struggle between two tendencies in 
America : the tendency toward sovereign commonwealths and the tendency 
toward nationality. The first commonwealth constitutions did not acknowledge 
the supreme authority of Congress ; there was yet lacking that essential bond 
between the people and their general government, the power of the general 
government to address itself directly to individuals. Interstate relations in 
1787 were scarcely more perfect than they had been fifteen years before. The 
understanding of American affairs was more common, but intimate political 
association between the commonwealths was yet unknown. The liberty of 
nationality had not yet been won. A peculiar tendency in American affairs 
from their beeinnine is seen in the succession of written constitutions, instru- 
ments peculiar to America. The commonwealths of the old Confederation 
demonstrated the necessity for a clearer definition of their relations to each 
other and of the association of the American people in nationality. 

A sense of the necessity for commercial integrity led to the calling of the 
Philadelphia Convention to amend the old Articles, but when the Convention 
assembled it was found that an adequate solution of the large problem of 


nationality compelled the abandonment of the idea of amending the Articles 
and the formulation of a new constitution. As the Convention proceeded to 
frame the Supreme Law of the land, it moved in accord with the whole 
tendency of American affairs, establishing a National Government upon the 
representative idea, organizing a tripartite government, a Supreme Executive, 
a Supreme Legislative, and a Supreme Judiciary. 

In the organization of the legislative department the representative idea 
was expressed in the Congress ; the Upper House of which represented 
the commonwealths as corporations ; the Lower House representing the 
people as individuals. Liberty in America received a more perfect definition in 
this arrangement ; for had representation been based wholly on that which 
created the Senate or on that which created the House of Representatives, 
representation would not have been equitable. But the equities of representation 
were preserved by establishing two houses. In creating two houses, however, 
the peculiar power of the lower branch of the colonial Legislatures was con- 
tinued by giving to the national House of Representatives the sole power " to 
lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, and to pay the debt, and 
provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States." 
The complaint against the tea tax can never be raised against any tax levied by 
Congress, for the members of the House of Representatives are elected directly 
by the taxpayers, and the right of individual representation was forever secured. 

Not only does the National Constitution guarantee this individual immu- 
nity, — the right of representation, but it also guarantees all the civil rights now 
known to civilized society. The " rights of man " so frequently on the lips of 
Americans of the Revolutionary period are defined in our National Constitution, 
particularly in the amendments which forever warrant to the citizens of the 
United States all that range of constitutional liberty which assures the largest 
definition of civil life. Freedom of speech and of conscience, the right of jury 
trial, exemption from unreasonable searches and seizures, the reservation to 
the people of all powers not delegated by them, the sovereignty of freedom as 
universally declared in the abolition of slavery, and the exercise of the franchise, 
show how the definition of liberty has become more and more perfect in the 
United States during the century. 

But the people who were capable of receiving a National Constitution 
like our own would not long endure the constitutions of commonwealths 
which fixed unreasonable limits on the rights of citizens. The first State consti- 
tutions were less liberal in their provisions than the National Constitution ; 
nearly all of them limited the electorate in the commonwealth to a small body 
whose holding of real estate and whose religious notions were in accord with 
the conservative ideas of the colonial time. At the time of the making of the 
National Constitution, the property required of an elector varied in the dif- 


ferent commonwealths. In New Jersey he must have property to the value of 
fifty pounds, in Maryland and the Carolinas an estate of fifty acres, in Delaware 
a freehold estate of known value, in Georgia an estate of ten dollars or follow 
a mechanic trade ; in New York, would he vote for a member of Assembly 
he must possess a freehold estate of twenty pounds, and if he would vote for 
State Senator, it must be a hundred. Massachusetts required an elector to 
own a freehold estate worth sixty pounds or to possess an annual income of 
three pounds. Connecticut was satisfied that his estate was of the yearly value 
of seven dollars, and Rhode Island required him to own the value of one 
hundred and thirty-four dollars in land. Pennsylvania required him to be a 
freeholder, but New Hampshire and Vermont were satisfied with the payment 
of a poll-ta.x. 

The number of electors was still further affected by the religious opinions 
required of them. In New Jersey, in New Hampshire, in Vermont, in Connecticut, 
and in South Carolina, no Roman Catholic could vote ; Maryland and Massa- 
chusetts allowed "those of the Christian religion " to exercise the franchise, but 
the " Christian religion " in Massachusetts was of the Congregational Church. 
North Carolina required her electors to believe in the divine authority of the 
Scriptures ; Delaware was satisfied with a belief in the Trinity and in the 
inspiration of the Bible ; Pennsylvania allowed those, otherwise qualified, to 
vote who believed " in one God, in the reward of good, and the punishment of 
evil, and in the inspiration of the Scriptures." In New York, in Virginia, in 
Georgia, and in Rhode Island, the Protestant faith was predominant, but a 
Roman Catholic, if a male resident, of the age of twenty-one years or over, 
could vote in Rhode Island. 

The property qualifications which limited the number of electors were 
higher for those who sought office. Would a man be governor of New Jersey 
or of South Carolina, his real and personal property must amount to ten thou- 
sand dollars ; in North Carolina to one thousand pounds ; in Georgia an estate 
of two hundred and fifty pounds or of two hundred and fifty acres of land ; in 
New Hamsphire of five hundred pounds ; in Maryland of ten times as much, of 
which a thousand pounds must be of land ; in Delaware he must own real 
estate ; in New York it must be worth a hundred pounds ; in Rhode Island, 
one hundred and thirty-four dollars ; and in Massachusetts a thousand pounds. 
Connecticut required her candidate for governor to be qualified as an elector, 
as did New Hampshire, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. In all the com- 
monwealths the candidate for office must possess the religious qualifications 
required of electors. 

From these things it followed that the suffrage in the United States was 
limited when, after the winning of American independence, the Constitution of 
the United States was framed and the commonwealths had adopted their first 



constitutions of government. It may be said that in 1787 the country was 
bankrupt, America was without credit, and that of a population of three milHon 
souls, who, by our present ratio, would represent six hundred thousand voters, 
less than one hundred and fifty thousand possessed the right to vote. African 
slavery and property qualifications excluded above four hundred thousand men 
from the exercise of the franchise. It is evident then, at the time when 
American liberty was won, American liberty had only begun ; the offices of the 
country were in the possession of the few, scarcely any provision existed for 
common education, the roads of the country may be described as impassable, 
the means for transportation, trade, and commerce were feeble. If the struggle 
for liberty in America was not to be in vain, the people of the United States 
must address themselves directly to the payment of their debts, to the enlarge- 
ment of the franchise, to improvements in transportation, and to the creation, 
organization, and support of a national system of common taxation. It is these 
great changes which constitute the history of this country during the present 

By 1830 the people had moved westward, passing over the Appalachian 
mountains whose forests had so long retarded the movements of population, 
and having reached the eastern edge of the great central prairie, they rapidly 
spread over the Northwest Territory, successively founding the five great com- 
monwealths which were created north of the river Ohio. This vast migration 
of not less than five millions of people carried westward the New England idea 
of government modified by the ideas prevailing in New Jersey, in Pennsylvania, 
and in New York. Along the highway which extends from Boston to Chicago 
sprang up a cordon of thriving towns which have since become prosperous cities. 
The school-house, the church, and the printing-press were at the foundation of 
the civil structure. 

The forests of western New York, in the first decade of the century, were 
burned in order to clear the land, and from the ashes were made the pearlash 
or "salts," which, after great labor, were delivered in Canada or at Pittsburgh, 
and the silver money in payment was returned as taxes and for payment of the 
homestead. A generation later and the pine forests of New York were no 
longer burned, but among them were built innumerable mills which speedily 
transformed them into lumber which, floated down the Genesee, found an outlet 
in the Erie Canal, and a market in New York. The great canal of 1826 be- 
tween Albany and Buffalo brought the Northwest to the market of the Atlantic 
seaboard, and raised the value of land, of labor, and of all productions through- 
out the northern States. 

By this time too the children of the Old Dominion had passed over the 
mountains and had located plantations in Kentucky and in Missouri, and the 
territory south of the river (Dhio had become a region of prosperous communities. 



About the time of the building of the Erie Canal, property qualifications 
had disappeared from nearly all the American commonwealths. It was in 1829, 
in the Convention of Virginia, called to frame a new Constitution for the people 


i^Presetited to the United States by Bartholdi.') 

of that commonwealth, that one of the last debates in America discussed the 
retention of the property qualification. It was said in that Convention, by 
President Monroe, " My object is to confine the elective franchise to an interest 
in land ; to some interest of moderate value in the territory of the Common- 


wealth. What is our country ? Is it anything more than our territory ; and why 
are we attached to it ? Is it not the effect of our residence in it, either as the 
land of our nativity or the country of our choice, our adopted country ; and of 
our attachment to its institutions ? And what excites and is the best evidence of 
such attachment ? Some hold in the territory, which is some interest in the 
soil, something that we own, not as passengers or voyagers who have no prop- 
erty in the State and nothing to bind them to it ; the object is to give firmness 
and permanency to our attachment, and these (the property qualification) are the 
best means by which it may be accomplished." 

The conservative opinions of the distinguished Monroe were supported 
by the Convention and the Constitution framed for Virginia at that time 
required of the elector that he should be a white male citizen of the Common- 
wealth, twenty-one years of age and upward, and possess "an estate of freehold 
in land of the value of twenty-five dollars." 

By the middle of the century public opinion had changed the provisions in 
the State Constitutions and abolished the property qualification of the elector : 
this limitation on citizenship disappeared about thirty years after the disappear- 
ance of the religious qualifications. From the introduction of government into 
the colonies these two qualifications had been intimately associated together. 

But liberty was not complete so long as the right to vote was limited to 
"free male white citizens." The history of the winning of universal suffrage is 
the history of the United States till the thirtieth of March, 1S70, when the right 
of citizens of the United States to vote, a right that cannot be denied or 
abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or 
previous condition of servitude, was proclaimed in force by Hamilton Fish, 
Secretary of State in the administration of President Grant. 

With this provision inserted in the Constitution of the United States, all 
commonwealth constitutions at once, as subordinate to the Supreme Law of 
the land, were made to conform, and although the National Constitution did 
not give the right to vote, it led practically to the admission of male persons of 
any race or color or from a previous condition of servitude to the body of the 
American electorate. Universal suffrage, against which earnest patriots like 
Monroe had at one time raised their voices, at last became the common 
condition of American political life. The struggle for liberty of 1776 was not 
ended as an effort to realize the "political rights of man " until 1870. 

Within recent years the Union has become a Union of forty-four States. The 
stream of population which has developed this Union has moved in three great 
currents. The northern current is from New England, New York, and Pennsyl- 
vania, along the line of the forty-second parallel. In the early years of the century 
this course was a convergence of smaller streams from various parts of New 
England at Albany, thence westward along the bridle path to Utica, Syracuse,. 


Rochester, Buffalo, Erie, Cleveland, and Chicago. The " main road " from Boston 
to Chicago is the original line of this current, which by reason of the increase in 
travel and transportation has been paralleled successively by the Erie Canal, by 
sail-boat and steam-boat lines on the Great Lakes, and later by several railroad 
lines ; the New York Central, the West Shore, the Lake Shore and Michigan 
Southern, the Canada Southern, and their connecting lines at Chicago, with the 
Trunk lines of the Northwest, have given to the entire northern half of the 
United States a uniform and distinct character in their customs and laws. The 
width of this northern stream is plainly marked by the northern boundary of the 
United States, and by the varying line of settlements on the southern edge, of 
which the principal are from Trenton, New Jersey, to Franklin in Pennsylvania ; 
Columbus, Ohio ; Indianapolis, Indiana ; Springfield, Illinois ; the southern 
boundary of Iowa, Kansas City, and thence westward in scattered settlements, 
including a portion of northern California, northern Oregon, and northern 
Washington. All the States within this area have been settled by people from 
the older eastern States, especially from New England, New York, Pennsyl- 
vania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. 

The second current of population, which may be called the Virginia 
cuTent, moved westward and southwestward over the area extending from 


the Potomac river and the northern boundary of North Carolina on the east, 
and widening as it coursed westward to the Ohio river on the north, including 
the State of Missouri, the southern portion of Kansas and Colorado, and thence 
to the Pacific, excluding the greater part of northern California. The southern 
boundary of this stream extended from the Carolinas southwestward, but in- 
cluded the greater part of Georgia, Alabama, and the States and Territories 
directly west of the eighty-third meridian (Pittsburg) and from the thirty-first 
to the forty-first parallel. Within this area the States as settled have con- 
tributed to the population of the States immediately west of them, imparting 
uniformity to the government and institutions of the States and Territories 
within this zone of settlements. 

The third and more recent line of movement has been along the Atlantic 
seaboard, beginning at various ports on that line, but especially at ports re- 
ceiving large numbers of immigrants ; continuing from town to town along that 
line from Portland Maine, to New Orleans and the eastern towns of Florida, 
and also Galveston and Austin, Texas, and thence westward into the Territories 
of New Mexico and Arizona, into southern California, and thence northwest- 
ward into Oregon, Washington and Montana. This line of the movement of 
population has been marked since 1865 and has been intensified and widened 
by the rapid construction of railroads. 

Along the northern or New England line of settlements have also moved 
the millions of immigrants from European countries in the corresponding latitude: 


from Germany, from Scandinavia, from Austria, from Russia, and from the 
British Isles. Along the middle or Virginia line moved a native population, 
chiefly from the older southern States, which spent its force at the foot of the 
eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. The Virginia stream has been second 
in size to that of New England. The recent coast stream has combined 
Northern and Southern and foreign elements, and reaching Washington 
and Montana by a backward flow, it presents for the first time in our national 
history a meeting of northern and of southern elements north of the latitude 
of Kansas. 

With the westward movements of the millions of human beings who have 
occupied the North American continent have gone the institutions and constitu- 
tions of the east, modified in their journey westward by the varying conditions 
of the life of the people. The brief constitutions of 1776 have developed into 
extraordinary length by successive changes and additions made by the more than 
seventy Constitutional Conventions which have been held west of the original 
thirteen States. These later constitutions resemble elaborate legal codes rather 
than brief statements of the fundamental ideas of government. But these 
constitutions, of which those of the Dakotas and of Montana and Washington 
are a type, express very clearly the opinions of the American people in govern- 
ment at the present time. The earnest desire shown in them for an accurate 
definition of the theory and the administration of government proves how 
anxiously the people of this country at all times consider the interpretation of 
their liberties, and with what hesitation, it may be said, they delegate their 
powers in government to Legislatures, to Judges, and to Governors. 

The struggle for liberty will never cease, for with the progress of civilization 
new definitions of the wants of the people are constantly forming in the mind. 
The whole movement of the American people in government, from the simple 
beginnings of representative government in Virginia, when the little Parliament 
was called, to the present time, when nationality is enthroned and mighty Com- 
monwealths are become the component parts of the "more perfect union," has 
been toward the slow but constant realization of the rights and liberties of the 
people. Education, for which no Commonwealth made adequate provision a 
century ago, is now the first care of the State. Easy and rapid transportation, 
wholly unknown to our fathers, is now a necessary condition of daily life. 
Trade has so prospered that "in the year 1891 the loan and trust companies, 
the State savings and private banks loaned in personal securities alone two bill- 
ions and sixty millions of dollars," and the accumulated wealth of the country is 
sixty billions of dollars. Newspapers, magazines, books and pamphlets are 
now so numerous as to make it impossible to contain them all in one library, 
and the American people have become the largest class of readers in the world. 

A century ago there were but six cities of more than eight thousand 



people in this country ; the number is now four hundred and forty-three. Three 
milHons of people have become seventy millions. The area of the original 
United States has expanded from eight hundred and thirty thousand square 
miles to four times that area. With expansion and growth and the ameliora- 
tion in the conditions of life, the earnest problems of government have been 
brought home to the people by the leaders in the State, by the clergy, by the 
teachers in schools and colleges, and by the press. 

But though we may be proud of these conquests, we are compelled in our 
last analysis of our institutions to return to a few fundamental notions of our 
government. We must continue the representative idea based upon the doc- 
trine of the equality of rights and exercised by representative assemblies 
founded on popular elections ; and after our most pleasing contemplation of the 
institutions of America, we must return to the people, the foundation of our 
government. Their wisdom and self-control, and these alone, will impart to our 
institutions that strength which insures their perpetuity. 

Francis Newton Thorpe- • 





^*^~\ .jOONE'S name was among the most prominent and his Hfe one 
of the most exciting as well as useful of the early pioneers. 
His name Is indissolubly connected with Kentucky. Boone's 
father emigrated from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to North 
Carolina when Daniel was a boy. Grown to manhood, here the 
future pioneer married Rebecca Bryan, their life being such as 
was common in the backwoods settlements of that time. A 
young man marrying then did not start with a competency. 
Boone, like David Crockett, thought' that when he had offered his broad hand 
and stout heart to the girl of his choice he had given her property enough to 
start with. Household furniture was of such simple pattern as could be made 
with an axe and a saw, while clothes were homespun or shaped from the 
dressed skins of animals, and dyed by utilizing the butternut and goldenrod. 
A woman's holiday costume was of her own make from first to last, and a man's 
best suit had been previously worn by a deer. 

The political troubles in North Carolina, the imposition of illegal fines and 
taxes, no doubt made many settlers besides the Boones anxious to escape to some 
more favored region. Perhaps the love for adventure, the fertility of resource, 
hardiness, accuracy of aim and coolness in danger which Boone displayed 
throughout his life was owing somewhat to the training he received during the 
Indian troubles, and especially the Seven Years' War, in which he served. How- 
ever it was acquired, we know that he developed a steady and cold character, 
with great perseverance and a remarkable love of nature. 

Boone had a forerunner, who was Dr. Thomas Walker, of Virginia. This 
gentleman, fired by hunters' accounts of Western lands, now the State of Ten- 
nessee, started in company with Colonels Woods, Patton, and Buchanan, and a 
number of hunters and others, on an exploring tour. To diem are due the names 
of the Cumberland Mountains, Gap, and River, which with one single exception 
are the only names of purely English origin in earlier Tennessee geography. 




At that time Tennessee was claimed as part of Virginia, which State made 
grants of its territories. Twelve years later Dr. Walker again passed over 
Clinch and Powell's Rivers and penetrated into what is now Kentucky. Others 
followed in his footsteps as far as Tennessee and some probably into Kentucky. 
That Daniel Boone was with one of these expeditions as far back as 1760 is 
considered to have been proven by the discovery of his name carved, with a date, 
upon an old tree near the stage road between Jonesboro and Blountsville, in the 
valley of Boone's Creek, which is a tributary of the Watauga. The legend 
inscribed on the tree runs thus : " D. BOON cilled a BAR on tree in THE 
year 1760." 


A hunter named John Finley penetrated into Kentucky some time after this 
and brought back marvelous accounts of the hunter's paradise he found there. 
Boone resolved to go into this new country. The preparations for his departure 
took time. Even homespun and deerskin had to be gotten ready; the 
necessary money for the maintenance of his family had to be provided ; and when, 
finally, all was ready, Boone shouldered his rifle and started with John Finley, 
John Steuart, Joseph Holden, James Moncey, and William Cool, to traverse a 
mountainous wilderness for several hundred miles. Our pioneer's physique at 
this time was perfect. He is described as being of full size, hardy, robust, and 
sinewy, with mild, hazel eyes. 


20 1 

After numerous hardships, which we have not space to chronicle, the 
explorers finally stood on a mountain crest overlooking the fertile valleys 
watered by the Kentucky River. There were herds of buffalo and of deer in 
sight, and evidences of game were everywhere plenty. The country was luxuri- 
ant almost beyond description in its vegetation, and it seemed indeed, as Finley 
had described it, "a hunter's paradise." From the cane-brakes in the river 
bottoms to the forest trees that crowned the wooded hills, it appeared to be a 
land of peace and plenty. And yet this very territory had among the Indians a 


name of ominous import ; it was called " The dark and bloody ground." No 
one tribe made these valleys their home, although they were claimed by the 
Cherokees ; but both Cherokee, Shawnee, and Chickasaw bands occasionally 
hunted over them, and they were the scene of many bloody feuds and forest 

Boone and his party encamped within view of all this beauty and wealth 
of nature, in a rock-cleft over which had fallen a giant tree. This camp from 
time to time they improved and enlarged, as it remained their headquarters 
during the succeeding summer and autumn. In all that time they roamed and 


hunted freely, finding abundance of game, exploring die countr}' thoroughly, but 
meeting with none of the red men. 

In the autumn of 1 760 Boone and John Steuart one day left their companions 
and plunged into the forest for a little longer excursion than usual. One cannot 
but imagine what the scene must have been at that season of the year in the 
forest primeval. The rich luxuriance of vegetable life and the plentiful supply 
of game must have appealed strongly to the feelings of these hunters, whose 
sense of security had not yet been disturbed by any encounters. Of all this 
domain they had literally been in peaceful possession until then. Suddenly the 
feeling of safety was rudely dissipated by the appearance of a band of Indians, 
who surprised Boone and Steuart so completely that resistance was out of the 
question, and they were taken prisoners. 

On the seventh night after the capture the Indians encamped in a cane-brake 
and built their fire. Perhaps the fatigue of a long march made them abate 
something of their customary caution ; at all events, as they slept by the fire, 
Boone, who was always on the alert, saw his opportunity to extricate himself 
from among them and escape. Refusing, however, to abandon his companion, 
although knowing that the risk of waking him was very great, as the slightest 
noise would alarm their captors, he went to where Steuart was sleeping, and 
taking hold of him, succeeded in rousing him without noise. By morning the 
hunters were far away on their return to camp, where they arrived without being 
overtaken, only to find that Finley and the others had disappeared. They were 
never heard of again. 

Early in the next year Squire Boone, Daniel's brother, arrived with a 
companion. On their approach to camp they were sharply challenged, not 
being at once recognized ; but the meeting was naturally one of great rejoicing 
when the hermits found who their visitors were. Now, for the first time during 
his long banishment from home, Boone heard from his family, received messages 
from his wife, and learned how his boys were progressing with the little farm. 
It was not long after the arrival of Squire Boone that Boone and Steuart were 
again attacked by the Indians, and this time Steuart was killed. Following this, 
Squire Boone's companion strayed from camp and never returned. That left 
the two brothers entirely alone, and as ammunition was running low the later 
comer decided to return home and get the necessary supplies. We hardly know 
which to admire most, the courage of the man who would face the perils of that 
return journey by himself, or the fordtude of the other who remained alone in 
that wild country, infested by his enemies, where for three months he constantly 
shifted his camp to avoid discovery. From his own account of this part of his 
life we find, however, that those days which he passed alone in the wild woods 
of Kentucky, depending upon his own skill and vigilance, eluding his enemies 
and tracking his game, were far from being the least pleasant in his life. After 



three months Squire Boone returned, and together the brothers pursued 
their calling once more, until finally, with a very thorough knowledge of the 
country and its capabilities, Daniel Boone returned to his family in North Caro- 

Boone's account of what he had seen, of the game, the fertility of thei 
country, the beauty of the mountains and rivers, and of all that had so' 
impressed his own imagination, is said to have set North Carolina on fire. 


And now, while the discoverer is preparing for still another start, we may 
explain the purpose of these several expeditions. As we have said, Kentucky, — 
that is, the southern part of it, — nominally belonged to the Cherokee Indians. 
It was claimed by Virginia and North Carolina and afterwards by Tennessee. 
A noted character of the day. Colonel Henderson, with several other gentlemen, 
concerted a scheme for the purchase of all that country from the Cherokees and 
the founding of an independent State or Republic, which should be called 
Transylvania. There is hardly a question that Boone's first expedition to 


Kentucky and long sojourn there was undertaken in the employ of Colonel 
Henderson and his Land Company. . 

The second journey was unquestionably for the purpose of negotiating with 
the Cherokees, and making all the preliminary arrangements for the purchase 
of the tract. If his report of the nature of the land induced the formation of the 
Company, he was no less successful in conducting the second part of the business. 
When he had arranged terms with the Cherokees, Colonel Henderson joined him 
on the Watauga to conclude the bargain. There he met the Indians in solemn 
conclave, took part in their council, smoked the pipe, and paid in merchandise the 
purchase-money for Kentucky, receiving from the Indians a deed for the same. 

Colonization was next in order, and Boone undertook with a party to open 
a road from the Holston River to the Kentucky River, and to erect stations or 
forts. Gathering a party for the purpose, on April ist they succeeded, after a 
laborious march through the wilderness, in the course of which they lost several 
men, in arriving at the spot where Boonesborough now stands. There they 
fixed their camp and built the foundations for a fort. Near this place was a 
salt lick. A few days after the commencement of the fort another of the party 
was killed during an attack by Indians, but after that there was no disturbance 
for some time. This was the beginning of colonization in Kentucky. It was, of 
course, commenced under the impression that the Cherokee purchase was good, 
but the validity of the deed was at once denied by the Governor of North 
Carolina and also by the Government of Virginia as well as that of Tennessee. 
Each State, however, granted to the Land Company large tracts of land on the 
same territory, so that while unsuccessful in founding an independent Republic, 
Colonel Henderson and his associates became very wealthy. For a long time 
those who were doing the actual work on the frontier, bearing the hardships and 
the brunt of battle, did not know that any question had been raised as to the 
validity of the title under the Indian purchase, and still supposed themselves to 
be engaged in the founding of a Commonwealth, 


A fort at that day meant a structure of a very primitive kind. Butler, in 
his History of Kentucky, says : " A fort in those times consisted of pieces of 
timber sharpened at the ends and firmly lodged in the ground. Rows of these 
pickets enclosed the desired space which embraced the cabins of the inhabitants. 
One or more block houses, of superior care and strength, commanding the sides 
of the ditch, completed the fortifications or stations, as they were called. 
Generally, the sides of the interior cabins formed the sides of the fort." 

About thirty or forty new settlers came to Boonesborough with Colonel 
Henderson, to whom Boone had written. So far the new-comers were all men. 
Before long, however, the leader returned for his own family, and others, to the 


number of twenty-six men, four women, and half a dozen boys and girls, 
accompanied him back through the Cumberland Gap. Before arriving at 
Boonesborough the little caravan separated, part of them settling at another 
point, where they built a fort of their own. Mrs. Boone and her daughters were 
the first white women to arrive at Boonesborough to settle there. Other 
settlers followed with new colonies, and these began to make Kentucky their 
home. One of the stations was called Harrod's Old Cabin ; another was Logan. 
Among the men of prominence were Simon Kenton, John Floyd, Colonel 
Richard Callaway, and other names that appear again and again in the early 
annals of the country. 


At the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, the Indians, excited by the 
British, greatly disturbed and harassed the new settlers, and many of the latter, 
becoming frightened or discouraged, abandoned the promised land and went 
back to North Carolina. In 1775 the setders still kept their faith in the Chero- 
kee purchase, and holding this view, took leases from the Company, established 
courts of justice, and, through a Convention or Congress which met at Boones- 
borough made laws and provided for a militia organization. This Convention 
was the first of its kind ever held in the West. 

Among the exciting episodes of the first years in Kentucky was the capture 
of one of Boone's daughters and two of Callaway's daughters by the Indians. 
The eldest of these girls was about twenty and the youngest fourteen years of 
age. They were sitting in a canoe under the trees which overhung the opposite 
bank of the river. There they were surprised by the Indians and taken away 
before their friends at the Fort discovered their peril. This happened so near 
nightfall that pursuit was impossible, but in the morning Boone and Floyd 
started in pursuit. They surprised the Indians that day as they halted to cook, 
and killing one or two, drove the rest away. Feeling their own force too weak 
for pursuit, they were glad to return with the almost heart-broken girls. The 
account of this, affording, as it did, evidence of the renewed hostility of the 
savages, induced nearly three hundred people to return to their homes during 
the next few months. 

We cannot follow the fluctuating fortunes of the colonists or mve a detailed 
account, interesting as that would be, of the incidents of border warfare. For a 
long time Kentucky was not recognized as a free State, and its people not 
acknowledged as citizens. Virginia sdll made claim to the territory, and yet 
when General George Clark was sent as a Representative to the Virginia House 
his claim was rejected by that party. Failing to receive recognition, Clark 
labored to obtain the independence of Kentucky as a State. This he finally suc- 
ceeded in doing, in opposition to Colonel Henderson and others. The formation 
of Kentucky politically was first as a county of Virginia. It was the bulwark of 


Virginia during the Indian troubles, and General Clark was nicknamed the 
Hannibal of the West. In 1786 the Virginia Legislature enacted the necessary 
provisions for permitting Kentucky to assume the position of a separate State 
on condition that the United States would admit her to the sisterhood, which was 
accomplished June i, 1792. 

Daniel Boone lost all his Kentucky property through carelessness or ignor- 
ance of legal forms, and after the prosperity and growth of the new State was 
fully assured he went to Virginia to begin life over again. There he stayed until 
the accounts brought from Missouri of the rich land and good hunting there 
aroused his pioneer spirit once more, and he again emigrated to settle in Spanish 
territory. He made his home in the Femme Osage district, over which, before 
long, he became military commander with a commission from the Spanish gover- 
nor. Upon the acquisition of Missouri by the United States our backwoodsman 
again found himself stripped of his property. The Government under which he 
had been lately serving had presented him with ten thousand arpents of land (an 
arpent is eighty-five one-hundredths of an acre) to which he had neglected to 
secure or record his title. Through the intervention of the Kentucky Legisla- 
ture in the Congress of the United States by a strong memorial, Boone was 
finally put in legal possession of the land. 

Only once did the great Kentucky pioneer return to the country that he 
had e.xplored and setded, where, according to his own account, he had lost so 
much. He says : "I may say that I have verified the words of the old Indian 
who signed Colonel Henderson's deed. Taking me by the hand at the delivery 
thereof, 'Brother,' he said, 'we have given you a fine land, but I believe you will 
have much difficulty in settling it.' My footsteps have often been marked by 
blood, and therefore I can truly subscribe to its original name. Two darling sons 
and a brother have I lost by savage hands, which have also taken from me forty 
valuable horses and abundance of cattle. Many dark and sleepless nights have 
I been a companion for owls, separated from the cheerful society of men, 
scorched by the summer's sun and pinched by the winter's cold, an instrument to 
settle the wilderness." 

Boone's death occurred in 1820 at his home in Missouri. He was then in 
the eighty-sixth year of his age. 


David Crockett, who died the last of those who were defenders of the Alamo 
in Texas, is one of the picturesque figures in American history. David, or, as he 
is familiarly called, " Davy" Crockett was born in 1786, of Irish-American parent- 
age. His boyhood was spent in his father's cabin in Tennessee, from which he 
ran away, and, after various vicissitudes, took service with a Quaker, where he 
remained until his marriage. Then, after several years of hardship, he moved to 



the Elk River country, and when the Creek War broke out he was Hving near 
Winchester, Tennessee. He became well known as an Indian fighter, one of 
his earliest services being in 181 3, when at Beatty's Spring he was chosen by his 
captain to act as a scout with Major Gibson to go into the Creek country and re- 
connoitre. On the first day of his journey he lost the Major, but pushed on 
Avith five companions for sixty-five miles into the enemy's country, bringing back 
news of an important nature. The garrison was hastily fortified and General 


Jackson summoned by express. We will not attempt to follow the details of this 
war. Crockett saw much vigorous fighting, was present at the burning of an 
Indian village (of the horrors of which he tells in his autobiography without 
the slightest apparent compunction), acted with Major Russell's "spies," and 
when he returned to his Tennessee home had quite a reputation as an Indian 

After the Creek War Crockett was one of those who tried to bring order out 


of the chaotic state hi which Tennessee society was at that time. His home was 
among a reckless set, and the organization of a temporary government was 
imperative. Upon its formation Crockett was made Magistrate. Afterwards he 
became a member of the Legislature, although one of his biographers states 
that at this time he could hardly read a newspaper. Later in life he showed the 
acquisition of more "book learning," and the best account of his life and adven- 
tures is found in the autobiography which he left. His early success as a politi- 
cian was due principally to his qualities of humor, good story-telling, hard sense, 
and true marksmanship with a rifle, a combination that is sure to win favor among 

Crockett served in Congress two terms, and won national reputation and 
popularity as one of the "half horse, half alligator" class. His career in Wash- 
ington was brought to an end by his quarrel with General Jackson, to whose 
party he had at first been an adherent. He then cast his lot with those who were 
battling for Texan independence, and died, as we have already noticed, with 
Travis and Bowie, at the Alamo. 

Equally important with the exploration, settlement, and conquest of Ken- 
tucky and the Southwest were the expeditions of those who found a path through 
the great mountain divide and were the forerunners of those that should after- 
wards settle the Pacific slope. 


Among the earliest explorers of Rocky Mountain fame were Lewis and 
Clark, who, in 1804, were sent to command the expedition in search of the head- 
waters of the Columbia River and to mark its course. General Clark was the 
brother of George R. Clark, of whom mention has been made in an earlier part 
of this chapter. The family were from Virginia, but had become identified with 
the early history of Kentucky, and William Clark was known from his youth as 
an Indian fighter. At eighteen years of age he was made ensign, and in 1 792 
became a lieutenant of infantry, being appointed in the following year adjutant 
and quartermaster. He served on the frontier until 1796, when he resigned 
on account of ill health and went to reside in St. Louis. Seven years later 
President Jefferson offered him the rank of second lieutenant of artillery, to 
assume with Merriwether Lewis the command of the exploring expedition to the 
Columbia River. 

Lieutenant Lewis was also a Virginian, whose first service had been in 
quelling the whiskey insurrection in Western Pennsylvania, in 1794. Afterward 
entering the regular army he rose to the rank of captain, was then private 
secretar)' to President Jefferson, and so won the President's respect and favor 
by his superior qualities of mind that he was appointed to the scientific and 
general command of the expedition of which we have just spoken. 



Lewis and Clark left St. Louis in the summer of 1803. They encamped for 
the winter on the bank of the Mississippi opposite the mouth of the Missouri 
River, The company included nine Kentuckians, who were used to Indian ways 
and frontier life, 
fourteen soldiers, /** 

two Canadian 
boatmen, an inter- ^ 
preter, a hunter, 
and negro boat- 
man. Besides this, 
a corporal and 
guard with nine 
boatmen, were en- 
gaged to accom- 
pany the expedi- 
tion as far as the 
territory of the 

The party 
carried with it the 
usual groods for 
trading with the 
Indians, looking 
glasses, beads, 
trinkets, hatchets, 
etc., and such pro- 
vision as were 
necessary for the 
sustenance of its 
members. While 
the greater part of 
the command em- 
barked in a fleet 
of three large 
canoes, the hun- 
ters and pack- 
horses paralleled 

their course along the shore. In this way, in the spring of 1804, the ascent 
of the Mississippi was commenced. In June the country of the Osages was 
reached, then the lands occupied by the Ottawa tribes, and finally, in the 
fall, the hunting grounds of tlie Sioux. Here the leaders of the expedition 



ordered cabins to be constructed, and camped for the winter among the Man- 
dans, in latitude 27° 21' north. They found in that country plenty of game, 
buffalo and deer being abundant ; but the weather was intensely cold and the 
expedition was hardly prepared for the severity of the climate, so that its mem- 
bers suffered greatly. 

In April a fresh start was made and they ascended the Missouri, reaching the 
great falls by June. Here they named the tributary waters and ascended the 
Northernmost, which they called the Jefferson River, until further navigation 
was impossible ; then Captain Lewis with three companions left the expedi- 
tion in camp and started out on foot toward the mountains, in search of the 
friendly Shoshone Indians, from whom he expected assistance in his projected 
journey across the mountains. 


On the twelfth of August he discovered the source of the Jefferson River in 
a defile of the Rocky Mountains and crossed the dividing ridge, upon the other 
side of which his eyes were gladdened by the discovery of a small rivulet which 
flowed toward the west. Here was proof irrefutable " that the great backbone 
of earth" had been passed. The intrepid explorer saw with joy that this little 
stream danced out toward the settingf sun — toward the Pacific Ocean. Meeting 
a force of Shoshones and persuading them to accompany him on his return to 
the main body of the expedition. Captain Lewis sought his companions once 
more. Captain Clark then went forward to determine their future course, and 
coming to the river which his companion had discovered he called it the 
Lewis River. 

A number of Indian horses were procured from their red-skinned friends 
and the explorers pushed on to the broad plains of the western slope. The latter 
part of their progress in the mountains had been slow and painful, because of the 
early fall of snow, but the plains presented all the charm of early autumn. In 
October the Kaskaskia River was reached, and leaving the horses and whatever 
baggage could be dispensed with in charge of the Indians, the command embarked 
in canoes and descended to the Columbia River, upon the south bank of which, 
four hundred miles from their starting point, they passed the second winter. 
Much of the return journey was a fight with hostile Indians, and the way was 
much more difficult than it had been found while advancing toward the West. 
Lewis was wounded before reaching home, by the accidental discharge of a gun 
in the hands of one of his force. 

Finally, after an absence of two years, the expedition returned, the leaders 
reaching Washington while Congress was in session, and grants of land were 
immediately made to them and to their subordinates. Captain Lewis was re- 
warded also with the governorship of Missouri. Clark was appointed briga- 




dier general for the territory of upper Louisiana, and in 1813 was appointed gov- 
ernor of Missouri, holding office till that territory became a state, after which he 
retired into private life till 1S22, when Mr. Monroe made him Superintendent 
of Indian Affairs, which office he successfully filled until his death. Lewis's end 
was a sad one. An inherited tendency to melancholia developed itself and 
led him, after a long and useful career, to take his own life. 

Of later, though not less 

fame, were the successors of 
Lewis and Clark in the explora- 
tion of the Rocky Mountains and 
the plains beyond. We refer to 
General Fremont and his famous 
scout, Kit Carson. It may be 
said without exao-a-eration that in 
all human probability the reputa- 
tion achieved by the young lieu- 
tenant and his subordinate in the 
South Pass was based upon a 
love adventure. 

When in 1S40 General Fre- 
mont was a second lieutenant, 
he was called to Washington, 
and while there met and fell in 
love with Jessie, the daughter of 
Thomas H. Benton. Colonel 
Benton liked the young Lieu- 
tenant, but thought that a fifteen- 
year-old daughter was altogether 
too young to contract an engage- 
ment, and failing in other efforts, 
he is thought to have procured 
the imperative order from the 
War Department which sent 
Fremont to explore the Rocky 
Mountains. Colonel Benton's 
influence at that time was paramount in Washington. The duty assigned was 
finished by Lieutenant Fremont, perhaps more speedily than would have been 
the case under other circumstances, and upon his return the lovers were secretly 
married ; but the love for adventure and exploration had been fully kindled, and 
a plan was forming in the brain of the future Pathfinder to explore the whole 
Western country, to study its topography, facilities, etc. As a part of this 




general scheme he was ordered, at his own request, to make a geographical 
survey of the Rocky Mountains, especially the South Pass. 

While engaged in this work the explorer met Kit Carson, a professional 
hunter and trapper, 
who had been for 
eight years regular 
hunter for Bent's Fort. 
Fremont at once en- 
gaged him as hunter 
and scout. Many of 
those who are inclined 
to detract from the 
reputation belonging 
to the former have 
averred that the credit 
of the discoveries 
made was mainly due 
to Carson ; but a 
knowledge of the fact 
that barometric obser- 
vations, topographical 
data, and other scien- 
tific records beyond 
Carson's capacity 
were made, and not 
only so, but excited 
the admiration and at- 
tention of foreign as 
well as American au- 
thorities, shows such 
a charge to be with- 
out foundation. Yet 
the fame of the sub- 
sequent candidate for 
the Presidency will 
always be linked with 

thai- rt( t^K* hiimT-il<='r shawan6h, the ute chief who was sent to Washington in 1863 to treat 
uidL ui Liic nuiiiuier ^j^^ ^^^ united states government. 

companion whose 

knowledge of the frontier made so much success possible. 

Carson was sent to Washington as a bearer of dispatches in 1847, ^"^ there 
received an appointment as lieutenant in the United States Rifle Corps. He was 



afterward appointed Indian agent, a post for which his experience admirably fitted 

Of other Western explorers, discoverers, and pioneers we have not space 
to speak in this chapter. We have sketched the lives and deeds of a few of the 
more prominent only, indicating how the West was opened for the march of the 
millions that have come after. We honor the brave men who risked everything 
and sacrificed everything to open the way, and cannot but believe, in the words 
of Daniel Boone, that they were " instruments to settle the wilderness." 





HE definitive treaty of peace between England and the United 
States, signed at Paris, France, September 3d, 1 783, by the Duke 
of Manchester, and David Hartley, son of the great philosopher, 
accredited representatives of the King of Great Britain, was an 
exact transcript of the preliminary treaty which had been signed 
in the same city, November 30th, 1782, by Richard Oswald, com- 
missioner for the English Ministry, and by Benjamin Franklin, 
John Jay, and John Adams, the American commissioners. It was 
provided by that treaty that the boundary line of the United States should start 
at the mouth of the St. Croix River (named also the Passamaquoddy, and the 
Schoodic), which now divides the present State of Maine from British New 
Brunswick, and running to a point near Lake Madawaska in the highlands 
separating the Atlantic water-shed from that of the St. Lawrence River, should 
follow those highlands to the Connecticut River and then descend the middle of 
that stream to the forty-fifth parallel of latitude ; thence running westward and 
through the centre of the water communications of the Great Lakes to the Lake 
of the Woods, and thence to the source of the Mississippi, which was supposed 
to be west of this lake. This line was marked in red ink, by Oswald, on one of 
Mitchell's maps of North America, in 1 782, to serve as a memorandum establishing 
the precise meaning of the words used in the description. It ought to have been 
accurately fixed in its details, by surveys made upon the spot ; but no commis- 
sioners were appointed for that purpose. The language relating to the north- 
eastern portion of this northern boundary line contained some inaccuracies, which 
were revealed by later surveys, and the map used by Oswald was lost. Hence 
a further question arose between Great Britain and the United States, which was 
not settled until the Ashburton treaty in 1842. * The nominal boundaries of many 
of the colonies with which the King entered into treaty, declaring them to be 

* Critical Period of American History. By John Fiske. 1S91, pp. 25, 26. 




"free, sovereign and independent States,"* as constituted by their charters, 
extended to the Pacific Ocean, but in practice they ceased at the Mississippi 
River. Beyond that river the sovereignty, by discovery, settlement, and active 
exercise, was vested in the King of Spain. Here, therefore, was the western 
[boundary Hne, at the Mississippi River. On the south the Spanish possessions 
ran east from that river, and took in the lower portions of the present States of 
Mississippi and Alabama, with all the present State of Florida. The eastern 
line was the Atlantic Ocean, starting from about the thirty-first parallel of latitude 
and running north and east to the St. Croix, the point of departure. 


It requires effort for one to carry the conception of these facts in mind, and 
recall the actualities of our national existence and activity as shut within these 
lines ; — not to say to go behind them, and remember that there was then but 
very little United States to the west of the Alleghany Mountains. It is the 
aim of the present chapter to stimulate and aid this effort, pointing out 

* New Hampshire ; Massachusetts Bay; Rhode Island and Providence Plantations ; Connec- 
ticut; New York ; New Jersey ; Pennsylvania; Delaware; Maryland; Virginia; North Carolina; 
South Carolina; Georgia. 



the successive increments by which the present domain of the country took 
on its vast proportions, opening to general apprehension the simple truth 
of Berkeley's lines : — 

"Westward the course of Empire takes its way; 
The four first acts already past, 
A fifth shall close the drama with the day ; 
Time's noblest offspring is the last." 

The following statements exhibit the 



A. D, 

Vermont I79i. 

(Formed from portions of New York and New Hampshire.) 

Kentucky, 1792. 

(Formed from Territory ceded to United States by Virginia.) 

Tennessee 1796. 

(Formed from Territory ceded to United States by tlie Carolinas.) 

Ohio 1802. 

(Formed from the Northwestern Territory.) 

Louisiana, 1S12. 

(Formed from the Louisiana Purchase.) 

Indiana, 1816. 

(Formed from the Northwestern Territory.) 

Mississippi 1817. 

(Formed from Territory ceded to United States by Georgia.) 

Illinois, 1818. 

(Formed from the Northwestern Territory.) 

Alabama 1819. 

(Formed from Territory ceded to United States by Georgia.) 

Missouri, 1820. 

(Formed from Louisiana Purchase.) 

Maine, 1820. 

(Part of Colony of Massachusetts Bay from A. D. 1651.) 

Arkansas, 1836. 

(Formed from the Louisiana Purchase.) 

Michigan 1837. 

(Formed from the Northwestern Territory.) 

Florida 1845 

(Formed from Territory ceded by Spain, 1S19.) 

Texas, 1845. 

(Annexed by vote of United States Congress.) 

loWA 1846. 

, (Formed from Louisiana Purchase.) 

Wisconsin 1848. 

(Formed from Northwestern Territory.) 


A. D. 

California, 1850. 

(Formed from Territory acquired from Mexico ) 

Minnesota 1858. 

(Formed from Louisiana Purcliase and Northwestern Territory.) 

Oregon 1S58. 

(Claimed by United States by right of prior discovery.) 

Kansas 1S61. 

(Formed from Louisiana Purchase.) 

West Virginia, 1S63. 

(Formed after secession of Virginia, 1S61.) 

Nevada 1864. 

(Formed from territory acquired from Mexico.) 

Nebraska, 1867. 

(Formed from Louisiana Purchase.) 

Colorado 1871. 

(Formed from Territory acquired from Mexico, and from Louisiana Purchase.) 

Montana, 1889. 

(Formed from Louisiana Purchase.) 

Washington, 1889. 

(Claimed by United States by right of prior discovery.) 

Wyoming, 18S9. 

(Formed from Louisiana Purchase.) 

North Dakota 1889. 

(Formed from Louisiana Purchase.) 

South Dakota, 18S9. ; 

(Formed from Louisiana Purchase.) 

Idaho, '890. j 

(Formed from Louisiana Purchase.) J 

For the sake of completeness, let there be added to the foregoing, these ; 
statements concerning the 1 


District of Columbia (organized), i79i- 

(Ceded to the United States by Maryland in 1788, and by Virginia in 17S9; seat of United 
States Government located there, iSoo.) 

Indian Territory (set apart), 1830. 

(Formed from Louisiana Purchase.) 

New Mexico (organized), 1S50. 

(Formed from Territory acquired from Mexico.) 

Ih-AH (organized), • ■ '^5°- 

(Formed from Territory aciiuired from Mexico.) 

Arizona (organized), lo&3- 

(Formed from Territory acquired from Mexico.) 

Alaska (acquired) 1867. 

(Purchased from Russia.) 

Oklahoma (organized) 18S9. 

(Formed from Indian Territoiy.) 



If we add to these statements that the forty-four States and seven Terri- 
tories which make the United States of to-day, comprise, in the aggregate, an 
area of 3,602,990 square miles, and were peopled, in 1890, by 62,049,523 souls, 
we may have some adequate ground for a just contrast between the status of 
the country at the present time, and at the time when peace was made between 
King George III, of England, and our forefathers. For then it covered but 
827,844 square miles, and had within it a population of say, 3,000,000 persons. 
We are to trace, in some detail, the successive acquisitions out of which that 
increase has been derived which differences the United States wherein we live, 
and the United States of America at the close of the Revolution of 1775-83. 


It is, doubtless, within the knowledge of few readers outside the closer stu- 
dents of American history, that before that time the prescient mind of George 
Washington was grappling, in earnest, with one of the two questions more im- 
minent than others in the determination of that coming territorial expansion, the 
greatness and the nearness of which were both hidden from the vision of the 
men of that period. The first was the provision of lines of inter-communication 
between the whites who had settled in the Mississippi Valley, westward of the 
Alleghanies, and the inhabitants of the original thirteen States. This was essen- 
tial in case the new settlements were to be permanendy held within the Union, 
and the attention of Washington had doubtless been occupied by its considera- 
tion, rather than by that of the second, upon which we shall speedily touch. For, 


in 1784, a tour to Pittsburg, Pa., and a personal examination of the AUeghanies^ 
had convinced him that by deepening the Potomac and the James Rivers, on the 
eastern side, and the headwaters of the Ohio River, on the other side of the 
AUeghenies, canal communication between the East and West would be practi- 
cable. Probably the scheme would have offered engineering difficulties almost 
insurmountable at that time. It had really gone so far, however, as incorporation, 
in both the States of Virginia and Maryland, when Washington reluctantly 
suffered himself to be drawn away from it by the voice of the whole country, to 
the Presidency of the Convention of 1 787, and afterwards of the United States. It 
was reserved for other men to establish communications between these sections 
of the country, such in nature and in number as neither Washington or his 
contemporaries dreamed of 

Another essential, if the emigrants then settled in the Mississippi Valley 
and those who should follow them, were to be retained in the Federal Union, was, 
plainly, that they should be relieved from e.xisting Spanish restrictions upon the 
free navigation of the Mississippi River and its affluents. The auspicious settle- 
ment of this point was at hand, — nigher, indeed, than might have been looked for. 
It came with the acquirement by the United States, in the year 1803 of that 
which went into history under the name of "The Louisiana Purchase." 

It had been the fixed policy of Spain to exclude all foreign commerce from 
the Mississippi. Having had the ownership and control, since 1763, of the vast 
tract west of that stream, she had been so resolute in this purpose that in 1780- 
82 she refused to conclude a treaty with the United States, her main reason being 
that the United States Minister, John Jay, had then demanded the free naviga- 
tion of the river. So definite and so determined was her purpose that it was 
apparent that she designed to confine the area of the United States to the country 
east of the Alleghanies, using, for pretext, a proclamation which had been issued 
in 1763 by the King of Great Britain, in which he forbade his North American 
governors to grant lands west of the sources of the streams that fell into the 
Atlantic Ocean. By the month of July, 1785, the claims of Spain had been 
modified to the occupation of the Floridas, all the west bank of the Mississippi, — 
the east bank to a point considerably north of the present southerly boundary 
of the State of Mississippi, — and an exclusive navigation thence to the mouth of 
the river. Her insistence upon this exclusive navigation had been so strenuous 
that by a vote of seven Northern to five Southern States, the Congress of the 
American Confederation had, in August, 1786, withdrawn all demand upon 
Spain for any share in it. Indeed, before the 6th October of that year, John Jay, 
as Secretary of the Confederation for Foreign Affairs, had agreed with Spain 
upon an article by which this claim on the part of the Americans was totally 
withdrawn for twenty-five years, although it was not formally relinquished. 

But the remonstrances and in some cases the violence, of the rapidly 



increasing American settlers in the valley east of the Mississippi grew to such 
frequency and to such proportions, that, in i 793, renewed, but still fruitless efforts 
were made by the United States government to secure a treaty with Spain that 
should open the river and relieve the settlers. In the year 1795, the attempt 
was once more renewed, and Thomas Pinckney, the American envoy, then suc- 
ceeded in negotiating a treaty which stipulated that navigation of the said river 
(the Mississippi) from its source to the ocean was thereafter to be free to the 
subjects of the Spanish ruler, and to the citizens of the United States, and allowed 
these same citizens "to deposit their merchandise and effects in New Orleans, 
and to export them thence, without import or export duty, for a space of three 
years. The Spanish government promised, as well, that this permission should 


be continued, if it was found, during the three years, that the arrangement was 
not prejudicial to Spanish interests ; or, it the arrangement should not be con- 
tinued, that His Majesty would assign to American citizens, " on another part of 
the banks of the Mississippi, an equivalent establishment." And with this the 
western United States people were fairly satisfied. 

Five years subsequent to this (1800), by the third article of a secret treaty 
between Spain and France, the former ceded to the latter the whole of 
the vast province of Louisiana, so-called, stretching from the source to the 
mouth of the Mississippi River, and thence westward to the Pacific Ocean. 
As the result of this cession, the United States were thenceforth to be 
hemmed in between France and England, the " two professional belligerents 


of Europe," — and toward the end of iSoi Napoleon Bonaparte, then at the 
head of French affairs, sent from France a fleet and army intended to take 
possession of New Orleans, although they were ostensibly to operate against 
St. Domingo. The excitement in the United States which naturally followed 
this cession was increased by a Spanish order (October, 1S02) abrogating the 
right of deposit secured by the Pinckney treaty of 1795, without substituting 
any place for New Orleans, and a Pennsylvania Senator introduced resolu- 
tions into the United States Congress authorizing President Jefferson to 
call out 50,000 militia and occupy New Orleans. Instead of this, however, 
Congress appropriated <^2,ooo,ooo for the purchase of that place, and 
(January, 1803) the President sent James Monroe to Paris as Minister 
Extraordinary, with discretionary powers, to co-operate with Robert R. 
Livingston, then United States Minister at the French Court, in the proposed 
purchase. A new war between France and England was on the eve of 
outbreak, and in that event the omnipotent navy of England would make 
Louisiana a more than useless possession to France. On the nth of 
April, Livingston was invited by Napoleon to make an offer for the whole 
of the vast territory. Monroe reached Paris on the 12th, and the 
two Ministers decided to offer ^10,000,000. The price was finally fixed at 
$15,000,000,. one-fourth of it to consist in the assumption by the United 
States, of $3,750,000 worth of claims by American citizens against France. 
The treaty for the purchase was signed by the American Ministers and by 
Barbe Marbois, for France, April 30th (1803). 

The news came upon Spain like a thunderbolt. She filed a protest against 
it, because of the fact (as is supposed) that a secret condition that France should 
not alienate Louisiana had accompanied the Spanish cession to France in 1800. 
But her protest did not avail, and at an early session of the United States Senate, 
called for the purpose by the President, the purchase was ratified by that body 
(October 19, 1803). The acquisition of Louisiana added 1,171,931 square miles 
to the United States, comprising Alabama and Mississippi south of parallel 31° ; 
all Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Oregon, North and South 
Dakota, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Minnesota west of the Mississippi, and 
Kansas except the southwest part, south of the Arkansas ; Colorado and Wyom- 
ing east of the Rocky Mountains, and the Indian Territory, with the Territory of 
Oklahoma. This purchase of the Louisiana Territory, first in order of time in 
the acquisition of land by the United States, was by far the largest of all that 
have succeeded it. 

The engraving, "The Banks of the Mississippi " (page 68), is a suggestion 
of the teeming commercial life, which, for many years past has grown in volume 
and importance along the sides of the great "Father of Waters " then brought 
within the national domain, and the picture of Great Salt Lake City, the capital of 



Utah, gives a view of another noted feature in this territorial expansion, to which 
we add (page 198) a singularly graphic delineation of "The Mammoth Hot 
Springs in Yellowstone National Park," also within the limits of the purchase 
made in 1 803. 

The second addition came to the country in 18 19. On the 2 2d of February 
of that year the Spanish Minister at Washington signed a treaty, by which his 


country ceded Florida, in area 59,268 square miles, to the United States in return 
for the payment by the latter country of the claims of American citizens against 
Spain, amounting to $5,000,000. The ratification of this cession was obtained 
from the Spanish Home Government in 1 82 1 . The steps leading up to the acqui- 
sition may be stated in brief: — 

At the formation of the United States Government, in 1789, Spain had 


possession of both Eastern and Western Florida, separated from each other by 
the river Appalachicola. These divisions of territory had been created by Great 
Britain in 1 763, and the two, taken together, ran from the Atlantic Ocean to the 
Mississippi River. The retrocession of the Louisiana Territory to France by 
Spain, in 1800, did not convey to the latter nation any portion of Western 
Florida, and in Spanish judgment all territory east of the Mississippi and west 
of the Perdido River was a part of Western Florida. She had, therefore, set up 
a custom-house at the mouth of the Alabama River, and levied heavy duties on 
goods to or from the upper country. 

The United States, however, after the purchase of the Louisiana Territory, 
in 1803, claimed that this purchase included the territory east of the Mississippi 
River as far as the Perdido, which is in our day the western boundary of the 
State of Florida; and in 18 10, after the overthrow of the Government in Spain, 
and when a part of the people in Western Florida had declared themselves inde- 
pendent of Spain and had assumed nationality. President Madison sent Governor 
Claiborne, of the United States Territory of (New) Orleans, into their country, 
with a sufficient force, and took possession of it, with the exception of the fort 
and city of Mobile. In 181 2, when Louisiana came into the Union as a State, 
her eastern boundary was fixed at the Pearl River, and what remained of Western 
Florida between the Pearl and the Perdido was annexed to the Mississippi Ter- 
ritory, General James Wilkinson, General-in-Chief of the United States Army, 
taking possession of Mobile in 181 3. This left only Eastern Florida, then 
stretching from the Perdido River to the Atlantic Ocean, under Spanish rule. 

Throughout these years the purpose had grown in the Southern States to 
gain that portion of Spanish dominion, as well as Western Florida, for the United 
States. January 15th and March 3d, 181 1, the United States Congress passed, 
in secret, — and its action was not made known until 1818, — acts which authorized 
the President of the United States to take "temporary possession" of East 
Florida. The Commissioners appointed under these acts, Matthews and Mitchell, 
both Georgians, had stirred up insurrection in the coveted territory, and when 
the President (Madison) refused to sustain them, the State of Georgia formally 
pronounced Florida needful to its own peace and welfare, and practically declared 
war on its private account. But its expedition against Florida came to nothing. 
In 18 1 4, General Andrew Jackson, then in command of United States forces at 
Mobile, having, by a raid into Pensacola, driven out a British force which had 
settled there, restored the place to its Spanish authorises and retired. Four 
years after (18 18), during the Seminole War, annoyed by Spanish assistance given 
to the Indians, General Jackson again raided Eastern Florida, captured St. Marks 
and Pensacola, huno- Arbuthnot and Ambrister, two Englishmen who had aided 
the Seminoles, as "outlaws and pirates," and again demonstrated the fact that 
Florida was at the mercy of the United States. It was this series of events which 




led to the Spanish cession already noted. And by the treaty which secured that 
cession the United States gave up any claim to Texas and the River Rio Grande, 


as its western boundary. These questions of extending territory gave occasion 
for many debates in Congress. Did space admit, it were easy to show, in some 




detail, at what an early stage in his career, Andrew Jackson, one of the most 
picturesque characters in American history, displayed, in these events, his essen- 
tial peculiarities. His 
exploits in Florida 
had stamped upon 
them the same quali- 
ties which subse- 
quently distinguished 

But attention 
must now be turned 
to the third increase 
of United States 
boundaries, in 1845, 
by the annexation of 
Texas to the United 
States by United 
States Congressional 
votes (House, De- 
cember 1 6th; Senate, 
December 22d). 

An admirable 
statement of the 
causes and methods 
by which this annexa- 
tion came about is to 
be found in the stand- 
ard " Cyclopaedia " of 
Mr. J. J. Lalor,* and 
we shall condense it 
for our pages. " The 
inevitable result of 
the two previous an- 
nexations," it is de- 
clared, "was the an- 
nexation of Texas." 

IDOLS TOTEM, OF ALASKA. -p) r . 1 „ ,,„„„ , » ^ ., 

Before the year 1763 
Texas had been claimed by Spain. It had been one of the objects of Aaron 

* Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the 
United States. N. Y., 1888. Vol. I, pp. 96, 97. 



Burr's conspiracy in 1S06. During General Wilkinson's hasty preparations to 
defend New Orleans from that conspiracy, in October of that year, he had 
agreed with the Spanish commander upon the Sabine River as a provisional 
boundary between Spanish and American territory, and the treaty of 1819 (see 
ante) made this boundary permanent. When Mexico's revolt against Spain was 
successful, by the treaty of Cordova (1821), Texas and Coahuila became one of 
the States of the Mexican Republic. 

As early as that year, however, wild spirits in the southwestern United 
States endeavored to effect an entrance Into Texas. In 1827 and In 1829 Henry 
Clay and Martin Van Buren, successive United States Secretaries of State, 
made offers of ^1,000,000 and 5^5,000,000, respectively, for Texas. April i, 
1833, Texas formed a Constitution of its own as one of the Mexican State Re- 
publics. Two years from that time the Mexican Congress abolished all State 
Constitutions and created a Dictator. Then (March 2, 1836) Texas declared 
Its own Independence. In the war that ensued, Houston, the Texan General, 
defeated Santa Anna, the Mexican Dictator, at San Jacinto, Texas, April loth 
(1836), and the latter, being, taken prisoner, signed a treaty acknowledging 
Texan independence. 

Although this act of the Dictator was repudiated by Mexico, the United 
States (March, 1837) and, soon after, England, France, and Belgium recognized 
the new republic. But the finances of Texas fell Into such disorder that 
annexation to the United States was really as desirable for her as for any portion 
of the States themselves, and in the month of August, 1837, by her Minister at 
Washington, she asked to be admitted Into the Federal Union. Attempts were 
at once made and persistently persevered In In the United States Congress and 
by existent United States Administrations to secure her admission. The question 
of Texan annexation became a game skillfully played, in partnership, by United 
States politicians who wished to Increase the number of Southern States, and 
Texas land and scrip speculators. Ex-President Andrew Jackson in a letter 
(March, 1843) warmly commended the annexation. In 1844, Martin Van Buren 
and Henry Clay alike declared against It. In the same year John C. Calhoun, 
United States Secretary of State, actually made a treaty of annexation with 
Texas, but it was rejected In the United States Senate by a vote of sixteen ayes 
to thirty-five nays. The election of James K. Polk as President, in the fall of the 
year, determined the adoption of the measure in this country, and it was consum- 
mated In 1845 by votes already stated. The unanimous assent of the Texan 
Congress had been given to annexation in June, 1845, and that assent had been 
ratified (July 4th) by a Texan popular convention. This annexation added 
376,133 square miles to the territorial area of the United States. 

For the purposes of this chapter it will suffice If we consider the fourth 
and the fifth acquisitions of territory by the United States, that of New 



Mexico and Upper California (1848) and tlie Gadsden Purchase, so-called, 
(1853) under a single head — to be known as "the Mexican Cession." New 
Mexico and Upper California had been conquered by American Troops, the 
former by those of General S. W. Kearny, — the latter by the United 
States Navy and a small land force under Colonel John C. Fremont, — and 
both were held as conquered territory during the Mexican War. From the 
opening of hostilities, the acquisition, by force or by purchase, of a liberal 
tract of Mexican territory as "indemnity for the past and security for the 
future" had been a principal object of that war. 


By the treaty of Guadalupe 
Hidalgo (February, 1848), the ter- 
ritory above named was added to 
the United States, the price fixed 
being $15,000,000, besides the as- 
sumption by the United States of 
$3,250,000 in claims of American 

citizens against Mexico. This territory, including that part of New Mexico east 
of the Rio Grande — which was claimed by Texas, and for which the United 
States afterward paid $10,000,000 to Texas, — added to the area of the 
country 545,783 square miles. Disputes which arose between the United 
States and Mexico during the next five years (i 848-1 853) as to the 
present southern part of Arizona, the Mesilla Valley, from the Gila River to 
Chihauhua, were such that a Mexican army was marched into it by Santa 
Anna, who had regained place and power, and preparations were begun 



for a renewal of war. By a treaty negotiated with Mexico by General 
James Gadsden, of South Carolina, in 1853, the United States obtained the 
disputed territory by paying $10,000,000 to Mexico, and secured, as well, 
the right of the transit of United States troops, mails, and merchandise over 
the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. By this annexation 45,535 square miles were 
added to the national domain. 

The accession of the Russian province of Alaska on the northwestern coast 
of North America, by purchase from that Empire, in the year 1867, was the sixth 


and last " push " of the boundaries backward from their original limitations in 
1783. Russia ceded the territory, — being all of the North American Conti- 
tinent west of the 141st degree of west longitude, together with a narrow strip 
between the Pacific Ocean and the British dominions; also, all the islands near 
the coast, and the Aleutian Archipelago, except Copper and Behring Islands on 
the coast of Kamschatka, — to the United States Government, for $7,200,000. It 
added to our area 577,390 square miles. Its ownership had vested in Russia by 
reason of her claims to it through the right of discovery, and by the right of her 
possession of the opposite shores of Siberia and Alaska. She also laid claim 


to the Northern Pacific as a sort of inland water. Of this latest addition to the 
area of the country, it may be said at this writing (1892), that it has already 
amply paid for itself, more than once, from the proceeds of its fisheries, its fur 
trade, and more recently from its development of gold-bearing quartz. The 
striking picture, " The Benches of the Fraser River," is an illustration of the 
possibilities of surface area in this region of North America, where one may 
travel for hundreds of miles, and fail to find a level spot large enough to make a 
Iplace on which to play a game of football. 

i The following is a summary of the territorial possessions of the United 

States from their existence as a nation, free and independent, at the close of the 
American Revolution : — 

Sqttare Miles. 

United States in 1783 827,884 

Louisiana Purchase (1803), 1,171,931 

Florida Purchase (1829), 59,268 

Texas Annexation (1S45) 376.133 

Mexican Cession (184S) S45.783 

Gadsden Purchase (1853) 45.535 

Russian Purchase (1867), 577.39° 

Total, 3,603,884 

Between the signing of the treaty of peace by George III and his English 
subjects and the North American colonies, by which signature their independence 
and sovereignty were acknowledged, and that year of grace in which the present 
chapter has been penned, — the American Republic has more than quadrupled its 
area. The judgment of history, calmer and nearer to truth than the utterances 
of past or contemporary authority, may pronounce a just verdict of disapproval 
upon the motives and methods which, in certain cases, made a pathway toward 
these vast augmentations, but it must always remain a source of gratification to 
an honest citizen that each square mile which has been added to our original 
boundaries has been paid for at a valuation agreed on by the buyer and the 
seller. He would be a bold prophet, indeed, who should assert that the limit of 
our national expansion has been reached. However that may be, there has 
already been opened to the American people the opportunity for such good work 
for God and man, within their own borders, as has not been placed before any 
other nation since the sun first shone upon the earth. Let the people of the 
United States rise to the level of their opportunity, and they will accomplish that 
for the benefit of mankind, which it has not yet been given to any other nation to 



OE 1812, 

^Y their first war with Great Britain our forefathers asserted and 
maintained their right to independent national existence ; by 
their second war with Great Britain, they claimed and obtained 
equal consideration in international affairs. The War of 1812 
was not based on a single cause ; it was rather undertaken from 
mixed motives, — partly political, pardy commercial, partly pa- 
triotic. It was always unpopular with a great number of the 
American people ; it was far from logical in some of its posi- 
tions ; it was perhaps precipitated by party clamor. But, despite all these facts, 
it remains true that this war established once for all the position of the United 
States as an equal power among the powers. Above all — clearing away the 
petty political and partisan aspects of the struggle — we find that in it the United 
States stood for a strong, sound, and universally beneficial principle — that of the 
rights of neutral nations in time of war. "Free ships make free goods" is a 
maxim of international law now universally recognized, but at the opening of the 
century it was a theory, supported, indeed, by good reasoning, but practically 
disregarded by the most powerful nations. It was almost solely to the stand taken 
by the United States in 18 12 that the final settlement of the disputed principle 
was due. 

The cause of the War of 181 2 which appealed most strongly to the patriotic 
feelings of the common people, though, perhaps, not in itself so intrinsically im- 
portant as that just referred to, was unquestionably the impressment by Great 
Britain of sailors from American ships. No doubt great numbers of English 
sailors did desert from their naval vessels and take refug-e in the easier service 
and better treatment of the American merchant ships. Great Britain was strain- 
ing every nerve to strengthen her already powerful navy, and the press-gang 
was constantly at work in English sea-ports. Once on board a British man-of- 
war, the impressed sailor was subject to overwork, bad rations, and the lash. 
That British sailors fought as gallantly as they did under this regime will always 
remain a wonder. But it is certain that they deserted in considerable numbers, 



and that they found in the rapidly-growing commercial prosperity of our carry- 
ing trade a tempting chance of employment. Now, Great Britain, with a large 
contempt for the naval weakness of the United States, assumed, rather than 
claimed, the right to stop our merchant vessels on the high seas, to examine the 
crews, and to claim as her own any British sailors among them. This was bad 
enough in itself, but the way in which the search was carried out was worse. 
Every form of insolence and overbearing was exhibited. The pretense of claim- 
ing British deserters covered what was sometimes barefaced and outrageous 
kidnaping of Americans. The British officers ivent so far as to lay the burden of 
proof of nationality in each case upon the sailor himself; if he were without 
papers proving his identity he was at once assumed to be a British subject. To 
such an extent was this insult to our flag carried that our Government had the 
record of about forty five hundred cases of impressment from our ships between 
the years of 1803 and 1810 ; and when the War of 181 2 broke out the number 
of American sailors serving against their will in British war vessels was variously 
computed to be from six to fourteen thousand. It is even recorded that in some 
cases American ships were obliged to return home in the middle of their voyages 
because their crews had been so diminished in number by the seizures made by 
British officers that they were too short-handed to proceed. In not a few cases 
these depredations led to bloodshed. The greatest outrage of all, and one which 
stirred the blood of Americans to the fighting point, was the capture of an Ameri- 
can war vessel, the " Chesapeake," by the British man-of-war, the " Leopard." 
The latter was by far the more powerful vessel, and the "Chesapeake" was quite 
unprepared for action ; nevertheless, her commander refused to accede to a 
demand that his crew be overhauled in search for British deserters. Thereupon 
the "Leopard" poured broadside after broadside into her until the flag was 
struck. Three Americans were killed and eighteen wounded ; four were taken 
away as alleged deserters; of these, three were afterwards returned, while in 
one case the charge was satisfactorily proved and the man was hanged. The 
whole affair was without the slightest justification under the law of nations and 
w'^ in itself ample ground for war. Great Britain, however, in a quite ungrace- 
ful and tardy way, apologized and offered reparation. This incident took place 
six years before the actual declaration of war. But the outrage rankled all that 
time, and nothing did more to fan the anti-Bridsh feeling which was already so 
strong in the rank and file, especially in the Democratic (or, as it was often called 
then, Republican) party. It was such deeds as this that led Henry Clay to 
exclaim, "Not content with seizing upon all our property which falls within 
her rapacious grasp, the personal rights of our countrymen — rights which must 
forever be sacred — are trampled on and violated by the impressment of our 
seamen. What are we to gain by war? What are we not to lose by peace? 
Commerce, character, a nation's best treasure, honor ! " 



The attack on American commerce was also a serious danger to peace. In 
the early years of the century Great Britain was at war not only with France, 
but with other European countries. Both Great Britain and France adopted in 
practice the most extreme theories of non-intercourse between neutral and 
hostile nations. It was the era of "paper blockades." In 1806 England, for 
instance, declared that eight hundred miles of the European coast were to be 


considered blockaded, whereupon Napoleon, not to be outdone, declared the 
entire Islands of Great Britain to be under blockade. Up to a certain point the 
interruption of the neutral trade relations between the countries of Europe was 
to the commercial advantage of America. Our carrying trade grew and pros- 
pered wonderfully. Much of this trade consisted in taking goods from the colo- 
nies of European nations, bringing them to the United States, then trans-ship- 
ping them and conveying them to the parent nation. This was allowable under 


the international law of the time, although the direct carrying of goods by the 
neutral ship from the colony to the parent nation (the latter, of course, being at 
war) was forbidden. But by her famous "Orders in Council " Great Britain ab- 
solutely forbade this system of trans-shipment as to nations with whom she was 
at war. American vessels engaged in this form of trade were seized and con- 
demned by English prize courts. Naturally, France followed Great Britain's 
example and even went further. Our merchants, who had actually been earning 
double freights under the old system, now found that their commerce was wofully 
restricted. At first it was thought that the unfair restriction might be punished 
by retaliatory measures, and a quite illogical analogy was drawn from the effect 
produced on Great Britain before the Revolution by the refusal of the colonies 
to receive goods on which a ta.K had been imposed. So President Jefferson's 
Administration resorted to the most unwise measure that could be thought of — 
an absolute embargo on our own ships. This measure was passed in 1807, and 
its immediate result was to reduce the exports of the country from nearly fifty 
million dollars' worth to nine million dollars' worth in a single year. This was 
evidently anything but profitable, and the act was changed so as to forbid only 
commercial intercourse with Great Britain and France and their colonies, with a 
proviso that the law should be abandoned as regards either of these countries 
which should repeal its objectionable decrees. The French Government moved 
in the matter first, but only conditionally. Our non-intercourse act, however, 
was after 18 10 in force only against Great Britain. That our claims of wrong 
were equally or nearly equally as great against France in this matter cannot be 
doubted. But the popular feeling was stronger against Great Britain ; a war 
with England was popular with the mass of the Democrats ; and it was the 
refusal of England to finally accept our conditions which led to the declaration 
of war. By a curious chain of circumstances it happened, however, that between 
the time when Congress declared war (June 18, 181 2) and the date when the 
news of this declaration was received in England, the latter country had already 
revoked her famous "orders in council." In point of fact, President Madison 
was very reluctant to declare war, though the Federalists always took great 
pleasure in speaking of this as " Mr. Madison's war." The Federalists through- 
out considered the war unnecessary and the result of partisan feeling and un- 
reasonable prejudice. 

It is peculiarly grateful to American pride that this war, undertaken in 
defense of our maritime interests and to uphold the honor of our flag upon 
the high seas, resulted in a series of naval victories brilliant in the extreme. It 
was not, indeed, at first thought that this would be chiefly a naval war. Presi- 
dent Madison was at one time greatly inclined to keep strictly in port our war 
vessels ; but, happily, other counsels prevailed. The disparity between the Amer- 
ican and British navies was certainly disheartening. The United States had 



seven or eight frigates and a few sloops, brigs, and gunboats, while the sails of 
England's navy whitened every sea, and her ships certainly outnumbered ours 
by fifty to one. On the other hand, her hands were tied to a great extent by the 
European wars of magnitude in which she was involved. She had to defend her 
commerce from formidable enemies in many seas, and could give but a small 
part of her naval strength to the new foe. That this new foe was despised by 


the great power which claimed, not without reason, to be the mistress of the seas 
was not unnatural. But soon we find a lament raised in Parliament about th.e 
reverses, " which English officers and English sailors had not before been used 
to, and that from such a contemptible navy as that of America had always been 
held." The fact is that the restriction of our commerce had made it possible for 
our navy officers to take their pick of a remarkably fine body of native American 
seamen, naturally brave and intelligent, and thoroughly well trained in all sea- 


manlike experiences. These men were in many instances filled with a spirit of 
resentment at British insolence, having either themselves been the victims of the 
aggressions which we have described, or having seen their friends compelled to 
submit to these insolent acts. The very smallness of our navy, too, was in a 
measure its strength ; the competition for active service among those bearing 
commissions was great, and there was never any trouble in finding officers of 
proved sagacity and courage. 

At the outset, however, the policy determined on by the Administration was 
not one of naval aggression. It was decided to attack England from her 
Canadian colonies. This plan of campaign, however reasonable it might seem 
to a strategist, failed wretchedly in execution. The first year of the war, so far 
as regards the land campaigns, showed nothing but reverses and fiascoes. 
There was a long and thinly settled border country, in which our slender forces 
struesfled to hold their own against the barbarous Indian onslaughts, making 
futile expeditions across the border into Canada and resisting with some success 
the similar expeditions by the Canadian troops. It was one of the complaints 
which led to the war that the Indian tribes had been incited against our settlers 
by the Canadian authorities and had been promised aid from Canada. It is 
certain that after war was declared English officers not only employed Indians as 
their allies, but in some instances, at least, paid bounties for the scalps of 
American settlers. The Indian war planned by Tecumseh had just been put 
down by General, afterward President, Harrison. No doubt Tecumseh was a 
man of more elevated ambition and more humane instincts than one often finds in 
an Indian chief His hope to unite the tribes and to drive the whites out of his 
country has a certain nobility of purpose and breadth of view. But this scheme 
had failed, and the Indian warriors, still inflamed for war, were only too eager to 
assist the Canadian forces in a desultory but bloody border war. The strength 
of our campaign against Canada was dissipated in an attempt to hold Fort 
Wayne, Fort Harrison, and other garrisons against Indian attacks. Still more 
disappointing was the complete failure of the attempt, under the command of 
General Hull, to advance from Detroit as an outpost, into Canada. He was 
easily driven back to Detroit, and when the nation was confidently waiting to 
hear of a bold defense of that place it was startled by the news of Hull's surrender 
without firing a gun, and under circumstances which seemed to indicate either 
cowardice or treachery. Hull was, in fact, court-martialed, condemned to death, 
and only pardoned on account of his services in the war of 1776. 

The mortification that followed the land campaign of 1 8 1 2 was forgotten in 
joy at the splendid naval victories of that year. Pre-eminent among these was 
the famous sea-duel between the frigates '-Constitution" and " Guerriere." 
Every one knows of the glory of " Old Ironsides," and this, though the greatest, 
was only one of many victories by which the name of the " Constitution " 



became the most famed and beloved of all that have been associated with Amer- 
ican ships. She was a fine frigate, carrying forty-four guns, and though English 
journals had ridiculed her as " a bunch 
of pine boards under a bit of striped 
bunting," it was not long before they 
were busily engaged in trying to prove 
that she was too large a vessel to be prop- 
erly called a frigate, and that she greatly 
out-classed her opponent in metal and 




men. It is true that the; 
" Constitution " carried six 
more guns and a few more 
men than the " Guerriere," 
but, all allowances being 
made, her victory was yet 
a naval triumph of the first 
magnitude. Captain Isaac 
Hull, who commanded her, 
had just before the engage- 
ment proved his superior 
seamanship by escaping from a whole squadron of British vessels, out-sailing 
and out-manoeuvring them at every point. It was on August 19 when he 


descried the " Guerriere." Both vessels at once cleared for action and 
came together with the greatest eagerness on both sides for the engagement. 
Though the battle lasted but half an hour, it was one of the hottest in naval 
annals. At one time the " Constitution " was on fire, and both ships were soon 
seriously crippled by injury to their spars. Attempts to board each other were 
thwarted on both sides by the close fire of small arms. Here, as in later sea- 
fights of this war, the accuracy and skill of the American gunners were some- 
thing marvelous. At the end of half an hour the "Guerriere" had lost both 
mainmast and foremast and floated helplessly in the open sea. Her surrender 
was no discredit to her officers, as she was almost in a sinkins^ condition. It was 
hopeless to attempt to tow her into port, and Captain Hull transferred his 
prisoners to his own vessel and set fire to his prize. In the fight the American 
frigate had only seven men killed and an equal number wounded, while the 
British vessel had as many as seventy-nine men killed or wounded. The con- 
duct of the American seamen was throughout gallant in the highest degree. 
Captain Hull put it on record that " From the smallest boy in the ship to the 
oldest seaman not a look of fear was seen. They all went into action giving 
three cheers and requesting to be laid close alongside the enemy." The effect 
of this victory in both America and England was extraordinary. English papers 
long refused to believe in the possibility of the well-proved facts, while in America 
the whole country joined in a triumphal shout of joy, and loaded well-deserved 
honors on vessel, captain, officers, and men. 

The chagrin of the English public at the unexpected result of this sea battle 
was changed to amazement when one after another there followed no less than 
six combats of the same duel-like character, in which the American vessels were 
invariably victorious. The first was between our sloop, the "Wasp," and the 
English brig, the " Frolic," which was convoying a fleet of merchantmen. The 
fight was one of the most desperate in the war ; the two ships were brought so 
close together that their gunners could touch the sides of the opposing vessels 
with their rammers. Broadside after broadside was poured into the " Frolic " by 
the "Wasp," which obtained the superior position, but her sailors, unable to 
await the victory which was sure to come from the continued raking of the 
enemy's vessel, rushed upon her decks without orders and soon overpowered 
her. Again the British loss in killed and wounded was large ; that of the Ameri- 
cans very small. It in no wise detracted from the glory of this victory that both 
victor and prize were soon captured by a British man-of-war of immensely supe- 
rior strength. Following this action. Commodore Stephen Decatur, in our frigate, 
the " United States," attacked the " Macedonian," a British vessel of the same kind, 
and easily defeated her, bringing her into New York harbor on New Year's Day, 
1813, where he received an ovation equal to that offered Captain Hull. The 
.same result followed the attack of the " Constitution," now under the command 



of Commodore Bain- 
"Java;" the latter had her 
about one hundred wound- 
that it was decided to blow 
tion" suffered so little that 
Ironsides," a name now 
been in every school-boy's 
resulted, in the great ma- 
jority of cases in the same 
way — in all unstinted 
praise was awarded by the 

bridge, upon the English 
captain and fifty men killed and 
ed, and was left such a wreck 
her up, while the " Constitu- 
she was in sport dubbed " Old 
ennobled by a poem which has 
mouth. Other naval combats 


whole world, even including 
England herself, to the admira- 
ble seamanship, the wonderful 
gunnery, and the constant per- 
sonal intrepitude of our naval 
forces. When the second year 
of the war closed our little navy 


had captured twenty-six war-ships, armed with 560 guns, while it had lost only 
seven ships, carrying 119 guns. 

But, if the highest honors of the war were thus won by our navy, the 
most serious injury materially to Great Britain was in the devastation of her 
commerce by American privateers. No less than two hundred and fifty 
of these sea guerrillas were afloat, and in the first year of the war they 
captured over three hundred merchant vessels, sometimes even attacking 
and overcoming the smaller class of war-ships. The privateers were usually 
schooners armed with a few small guns, but carrying one long cannon 
mounted on a swivel so that it could be turned to any point of the horizon, 
and familiarly known as Long Tom. Of course, the crews were influenced 
by greed as well as by patriotism. Privateering is a somewhat doubtful 
mode of warfare at the best ; but international law permits it ; and though 
it is hard to dissociate from it a certain odor, as of legalized piracy, it is 
legitimate to this day. And surely if it were ever justifiable it was at that 
time. As Jefferson said, there were then tens of thousands of seamen 
forced by war from their natural means of support and useless to their 
country in any other way, while by "licensing private armed vessels the whole 
naval force of the nation was truly brought to bear on the foe." The havoc 
wrought on British trade was widespread indeed ; altogether between fifteen 
hundred and two thousand prizes were taken by the privateers. To compute 
the value of these prizes is impossible, but some idea may be gained from 
the single fact that one privateer, the " Yankee," in a cruise of less than 
two months captured five brigs and four schooners with cargoes valued at 
over half a million dollars. The men eneag^ed in this form of warfare were 
bold to recklessness, and their exploits have furnished many a tale to Ameri- 
can writers of romance. 

The naval combats thus far mentioned were almost always of single vessels. 
For battles of fleets we must turn from the salt water to the fresh, from the 
ocean to the great lakes. The control of the waters of Lake Erie, Lake Onta- 
rio, and Lake Champlain was obviously of vast importance, in view of the con- 
tinued land-fighting in the West and of the attempted invasion of Canada and 
the threatened counter-invasions. The British had the great advantage of being 
able to reach the lakes by the St. Lawrence, while our lake navies had to be con- 
structed after the war began. One such little navy had been built at Presque 
Isle, now Erie, on Lake Erie. It comprised two brigs of twenty guns and sev- 
eral schooners and gunboats. It must be remembered that everything but the 
lumber needed for the vessels had to be brought through the forests by land 
from the eastern seaports, and the mere problem of transportation was a serious 
one. When finished, the fleet was put in command of Oliver Hazard Perry. 
Watching his time (and, it is said, taking advantage of the carelessness of the 



British commander in going on shore to dinner one Sunday, when he should 
have been watching Perry's movements), the American commander drew his 
fleet over the bar which had protected it while in harbor from the onslaughts of 
the British fleet. To get the brigs over this bar was a work of time and great 
difficulty; an attack at that hour by the British would certainly have ended in 
the total destruction of the fleet. Once accomplished, Perry, in his flagship, the 
" Lawrence," headed a fleet of ten vessels, fifty-five guns, and four hundred men. 
Opposed to him was Captain Barclay with six ships, sixty-five guns, and also 


about four hundred men. The British for several weeks avoided the conflict, 

but in the end were cornered and forced to fight. It was at the beeinnine of 

this battle that Perry displayed the flag bearing Lawrence's famous dying 

words, " Don't give up the ship ! " No less famous is his dispatch announcing 

the result in the words, " We have met the enemy and they are ours." The 

victory was indeed a complete and decisive one ; all six of the enemy's ships 

were captured, and their loss was nearly double that of Perry's forces. The 

complete control of Lake Erie was assured ; that of Lake Ontario had already 

been gained by Commodore Chauncey. 


Perry's memorable victory opened the way for important land operations by 
General Harrison, who now marched from Detroit with the design of invading 
Canada. He engaged with Proctor's mingled body of British troops and Indians, 
and by the Battle of the Thames drove back the British from that part of Canada 
and restored matters to the position in which they stood before Hull's deplorable 
surrender of Detroit — and, indeed, of all Michigan — to the British. In this battle 
of the Thames the Indian chief, Tecumseh, fell, and about three hundred of the 
British and Indians were killed on the field. The hold of our enemies on the 
Indian tribes was greatly broken by this defeat. Previous to this the land cam- 
paigns had been marked by a succession of minor victories and defeats. In the 
West a force of Americans under General Winchester had been captured at the 
River Raisin ; and there took place an atrocious massacre of large numbers of 
prisoners by the Indians, who were quite beyond restraint from their white allies. 
On the other hand, the Americans had captured the city of York, now Toronto, 
though at the cost of their leader, General Pike, who, with two hundred of his 
men, was destroy.ed by the e.xplosion of a magazine. Fort George had also been 
captured by the Americans and an attack on Sackett's Harbor had been gal- 
lantly repulsed. Following the battle of the Thames, extensive operations of 
an aggressive kind had been planned looking toward the capture of Montreal 
and the invasion of Canada by way of Lakes Ontario and Champlain. Un- 
happily, jealousy between the American Generals Wilkinson and Hampton 
resulted in a lack of concert in their military operations, and the expedition 
was a complete fiasco. 

One turns for consolation from the mortifying record of Wilkinson's ex- 
pedition to the story of the continuous successes which had accompanied the 
naval operations of 1813. Captain Lawrence, in the " Hornet," won a complete 
victory over the English brig " Peacock ;" our brig, the " Enterprise," captured the 
" Boxer," and other equally welcome victories were reported. One distinct 
defeat had marred the record — that of our fine brig, the "Chesapeake," com- 
manded by Captain Lawrence, which had been captured after one of the most 
hard-fought contests of the war by the British brig, the " Shannon." Lawrence 
himself fell mortally wounded, exclaiming as he was carried away, "Tell the men 
not to give up the ship but fight her till she sinks." It was a paraphrase of this 
exclamation which Perry used as a rallying signal in the battle on Lake Erie. 
Despite his one defeat. Captain Lawrence's fame as a gallant seaman and high- 
minded patriot was untarnished, and his death was more deplored throughout 
the country than was the loss of his ship. 

In the latter part of the war England was enabled to send large reinforce- 
ments both to her army and navy engaged in the American campaigns. Events 
in Europe seemed in 18 14 to insure peace for at least a time. Napoleon's power 
was broken ; the Emperor himself was exiled at Elba ; and Great Britain at last 



had her hands free. But before the reinforcements reached this country, our 
army had won greater credit and had shown more mihtary skill by far than were 
evinced in its earlier operations. Along the line of the Niagara River active 


fighting had been going on. In the battle of Chippewa, the capture of Fort Erie, 
the engagement at Lundy's Lane, and the defense of Fort Erie the troops, under 
the command of Winfield Scott and General Brown, had held their own, and more, 
against superior forces, and had won from British ofificers the admission that they 


fought as well under fire as regular troops. More encouraging still was the 
total defeat of the plan of invasion from Canada undertaken by the now greatly 
strengthened British forces. These numbered twelve thousand men and were 
supported by a fleet on Lake Champlain. Their operations were directed against 
Plattsburg, and in the battle on the lake, usually called by the name of that town, 
the American flotilla under the command of Commodore Macdonough completely 
routed the British fleet. As a result the English army also beat a rapid and 
undignified retreat to Canada. This was the last important engagement to take 
place in the North. 

Meanwhile expeditions of considerable size were directed by the British 
against our principal Southern cities. One of these brought General Ross with 
five thousand men, chiefly the pick of the Duke of Wellington's army, into the 
Bay of Chesapeake. Nothing was more discreditable in the military strategy of 
our Administration than the fact that at this time Washington was left unprotected, 
though in evident danger. General Ross marched straight upon the Capital, 
easily defeated at Bladensburg an inferior force of raw militia — who yet fought 
with intrepidity for the most part — seized the city, and carried out his intention of 
destroying the public buildings and a great part of the town. Most of the public 
archives had been removed. Ross' conduct in the burning of Washington was 
probably within the limits of legitimate warfare but has been condemned as semi- 
barbarous by many writers. The achievement gave great joy to the English 
papers, but was really of less importance than was supposed. Washington at 
that time was a straggling town of only eight thousand inhabitants ; its public 
buildings were not at all adequate to the demands of the future ; and an optimist 
might even consider the destruction of the old city as a public benefit, for it 
enabled Congress to adopt the plans which have since led to the making of 
perhaps the most beautiful city of the country. 

A similar attempt upon Baltimore was less successful. The people of that 
city made a brave defense and hastily threw up extensive fortifications. In the 
end the British fleet, after a severe bombardment of Fort McHenry, were driven 
off. The British Admiral had boasted that Fort McHenry would yield in a few 
hours ; and two days after, when its flag was still flying, Francis S. Key was in- 
spired by its sight to compose the "Star Spangled Banner." 

A still larger expedition of British troops landed on the Louisiana coast 
and marched to the attack of New Orleans. Here General Andrew Jackson 
was in command. He had already distinguished himself in this war by putting 
down with a strong hand the hostile Creek Indians of the then Spanish territory 
of Florida, who had been incited by English envoys to warfare against our 
Southern settlers; and in April, 1814, William Weathersford, the half-breed 
chief, had surrendered in person to Jackson (see illustration). General 
Packenham, who commanded the five thousand British soldiers sent against 


New Orleans, expected as easy a victory as that of General Ross at Washington. 
But Jackson had summoned to his aid the stalwart frontiersmen of Kentucky 
and Tennessee — men used from boyhood to the rifle, and who made up 
what was in effect a splendid force of sharp-shooters. Both armies threw up 
rough fortifications ; General Jackson made great use for that purpose of cotton 
bales, Packenham employing the still less solid material of sugar barrels. 
Oddly enough, the final batde, and really the most important of the war, took 
place after the treaty of peace between the two countries had already been 
signed. The British were repulsed again and again in persistent and gallant 
attacks on our fortifications. General Packenham himself was killed, together 
with many officers and seven hundred of his men. One British officer pushed to 
the top of our earthworks and demanded their surrender, whereupon he was 
smilingly asked to look behind him, and turning saw, as he afterward said, that 
the men he supposed to be supporting him " had vanished as if the earth had 
swallowed them up." The American losses were inconsiderable. 

The treaty of peace, signed at Ghent, December 24, 18 14, has been ridiculed 
because it contained no positive agreement as to many of the questions in dis- 
pute. Not a word did it say about the impressment of American sailors or the 
rights of neutral ships. Its chief stipulations were the mutual restoration of ter- 
ritory and the appointing of a commission to determine our northern boundary 
line. The truth is that both nations were tired of the war ; the circumstances 
that had led to England's aggressions no longer existed ; both countries were 
suffering enormous commercial loss to no avail ; and, above all, the United States 
had emphatically justified by its deeds its claim to an equal place in the council 
of nations. Politically and materially, further warfare was illogical. If the two 
nations had understood each other better in the first place ; if Great Britain had 
treated our demands with courtesy and justice instead of insolence ; if, in short, 
international comity had taken the place of international ill-temper, the war might 
have been avoided altogether. Its undoubted benefits to us were incidental 
rather than direct. But though not formally recognized by treaty, the rights of 
American seamen and of American ships were in fact no longer infringed upon 
by Great Britain. 

One political outcome of the war must not be overlooked. The New Eng- 
land Federalists had opposed it from the beginning, had naturally fretted at their 
loss of commerce, and had bitterly upbraided the Democratic administration for 
currying popularity by a war carried on mainly at New England's expense. 
When in the latter days of the war New England ports were closed, Stonington 
bombarded, Castine in Maine seized, and serious depredations threatened every- 
where along the northeastern coast, the Federalists complained that the adminis- 
tration taxed them for the war but did not protect them. The outcome of all 
this discontent was the Hartford Convention. In point of fact it was a quite 



harmless conference which proposed some constitutional amendments, protested 
against too great centralization of power, and urged the desirability of peace with 
honor. But the most absurd rumors were prevalent about its intentions ; a regi- 
ment of troops was actually sent to Hartford to anticipate treasonable outbreaks ; 
and for many years good Democrats religiously believed that there had been a 
plot to set up a monarchy in New England with the Duke of Kent as king. 
Harmless as it was, the Hartford Convention proved the death of the Federalist 
party. Its mild debates were distorted into secret conclaves plotting treason, 
and, though the news of peace followed close upon it, the Convention was long 
an object of opprobrium and a political bugbear. 



BY honorable: HEKRY L. DAWES, 

Chairman Commitlee on Indian Affairs^ Untied States Senate. 


The Story of~ the Indian. 


The Indian ok the Nineteenth Century 
(Or Our Indian Problem). 




T the time when our forefathers first landed on these 
shores, they found the Indian here. Whether at Ply- 
mouth or Jamestown, at the mouth of the Hudson or 
in Florida, their first welcome was from the red man. 
To him the country belonged, and from him the white 
man secured it, sometimes by form of purchase, some- 
times as conqueror, more often by the simpler process 
of taking possession as a settler. For the most part 
the Indian acquiesced at first. The white man and his 
ways were new and strange and somewhat fearful to 
the child of the forest, and it seemed best to propitiate so formidable an 
antagonist. But the early settlers were men of blood and iron, and both in 
theory and practice their tender mercies were cruel. On the part of tho 
settlers the Indian was everywhere so treated that friendship turned to 
enmity, and on both sides fear became an ally of hate. Now and then a 
leader, broader minded than his fellows, like Standish or John Smith, met 
the red man with justice, and cemented bonds that stood the strain of battle ; 
but. at the beginning, as truly as to-day, the white settler coveted land and 
pushed the Indian off it that he might dwell thereon in peace. And it 
"nust be said that in the seventeenth century he violated no tradition, set 




himself against no law, human or divine, when he did this. Possession was 
still the right of the stronger, the world over, and the conquest of new 
countries the chief glory of king and commons alike. To flee away from 
oppression was the only refuge, and to oppressor as well as oppressed it 
seemed a natural resort. The country was broad enough for both, thought 
the white man. If the red man could not live with the new comers on the 
coast, let him fly to the fresh wilderness of the interior ; and so he did, year 
after year, until one day there was no more wilderness. Then the nation 

which in the nineteenth century 
still kept up the habits of the seven- 
teenth, found that the weapons of 
that old time were two-edged ; we 
could not conquer without fighting, 
nor oppress without revolt ; and we 
learned at last that a new day must 
have new deeds. 

Our early relations with the 
Indian may be roughly divided into 
different periods, covering the time 
from the first landing on our shores 
until somewhere about 1830 ; and 
then again into other periods, from 
that time until now. In the first or 
early chapter of our Indian experi- 
ences we find the period of discov- 
ery, when the savage met the new 
comer with wonder and welcome, 
and the invader plundered and 
enslaved the savage ; the colonial 
period, when the savage had grown 
wiser and more cunning and waited 
for knowledge of the settler's pur- 
pose before treating with him, some- 
times living peaceably by his side, 
or sometimes uniting in the vain effort to drive him away, but always 
baffled, defeated and conquered ; and the national period, when the Indian was 
the accepted enemy of the young nation, or temporarily its ally ; but always 
their relations were those of fighting and destruction. From the year 1830 
onward, we were dictating the terms of those relations and changing them to suit 
the mood of the hour. It is necessary, however, to first consider the early 
relations of the two peoples. 



When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, in 1620, or Captain John Smith 
and his followers settled Jamestown, in 1607, they were by no means the first to 
hold relations with the red men. More than one hundred years had elapsed 
since Columbus, mistaking our shores for the East Indies, had named the wild 
inhabitants Indians. In that time one explorer after another had landed on our 
shores and had taken possession of one tract or another for himself or his king, 
and held it, or foreotten it, as the case migrht be. But whether French or 
English, Spanish or Dutch, these men were invariably met with kindness, hos- 
pitality, friendship ; and invariably they had returned cruelty. The Indians 
lived in scattered villages in much quiet and friendliness. Game, fish, a few 
simple vegetables, including maize and wild roots, made up their living. Hos, 
pitality to friend and stranger was a duty, and to refuse succor a crime. 
They were nowise anxious to take on the white man's ways, which seemed to 
them inferior in all that was manly. Nor was it much wonder, for the new 
comers deceived and cheated the simple Indian, or when occasion offered — some- 
times without — burned his villages, and killed the inhabitants ; and never a ship 
sailed away from the new world without its quota of kidnapped red men, carried 
over seas for trophies and slaves. The Spanish and Portuguese in the South, 
under Cortereal and Coronado and De Soto and others, the French and 
English in the north, under Cartier and Cabot and their companions, all came 
on the same search for gold, and all treated the Indian after the same fashion. 

When the year 1 600 came in, it beheld a new era in America — the era 
of settlement — the day of homes and villages, and the new question arose 
whether the two races could live together in peace and quietness. All the 
experience of the past was against it in the long memory of the red man. 
In North Carolina, Sir Walter Raleigh's romantic experiment at colonizing 
Roanoke Island had come to nothing, and left behind it the memory of an 
unprovoked and treacherous massacre by the suspicious English. Yet 
notwithstanding this, the Indian still tried the vain experiment of kindness. 
When in 1607 a colony appeared at Jamestown, the great warrior Powhatan, 
whose realms had been invaded by the Carolina colony, " kindly entertained " 
the Englishmen, feeding them with bread and berries and fish, while his 
people danced for their entertainment. Shortly becoming convinced, how- 
ever, that the English occupation boded ill for his people, finding that " the 
rights of the Indian were little respected, and the English did not disdain to 
appropriate by conquest the soil, the cabins, and the granaries of the tribe 
of the Appomattox," Powhatan determined to protect his people, and strove in 
every way to dispossess the English. The skill and courage of the 
redoubtable Captain John Smith were too much for him, and an outward 
peace was maintained, although with some difficulty, by that warrior. At one 
time Captain Smith was himself taken prisoner and his life threatened, and 



the romantic story is told that his Hfe was preserved by the Princess 
Pocahontas. It is more probable, however, that he owed his life to his native 
wit, although such a rescue had been the happy fate of a much earlier 
explorer years before. The beautiful Pocahontas married John Rolfe, and 
thus helped greatly to bind together the colonists and the Indians. But even 
this outward kindliness was not of long duration, for the death of Powhatan 
was shortly followed by a dreadful massacre of the whites, and for twenty 
years both races in that region rivaled each other in destruction. 

In New England the story was 
much the same. Before the Pilgrims 
reached New England the Indians 
of Maine had suffered much, and 
the name of the Englishman was 
already feared and hated. Thus it 
was that a shower of arrows was the 
first welcome Massachusetts gave 
the white man. But a few months 
later an Indian, Samoset, walked 
into Plymouth, saying, "Welcome, 
Englishmen ! " and was the first of a 
group of famous red men who be- 
came the friends of the settlers. 
Squanto, Hobamok, Massasoit, Ca- 
nonicus, Uncas, Miantonomah, are 
names well known to New England 
annals, names of orreat warriors most 
of them, men who kept faith with 
their allies. But as time went on, 
and the inevitable results of the new 
occupation appeared, the Indians 
o-rew more and more unwilling to 
give up their lands, and now and 
aeain made a brave stand for their own. Then occurred awful wars, bloody and 
terrible as only savage wars could be, complicated oftentimes by the jealousies 
and hereditary enmities of the different tribes. Thus if Miantonomah and the 
Narragansetts were friendly to the settler, Uncas and his Mohicans were their 
enemies. Early in sixteen hundred, Sassacus and the proud tribe of the Pequots 
made an unavailing attempt to destroy the invader, and were utterly extermi- 
nated. It is hard to tell which were the more barbarous, the colonists or the 
Indians ; alike they burned defenseless villages, alike they murdered women and 
children. Fifty years later one of the greatest of all the Indian warriors. King 

iFrotn a print after the painting by William Verelst.) 



Philip, made one more last effort for his country. For a year and a half he kept 
the English at bay, appearing and reappearing all over Massachusetts, Rhode 
Island, and Connecticut, fighting with musket and fire as well as with tomahawk 
and scalping-knife, brave beyond the telling, and as cruel. The colonists suffered 
untold horrors, and the Indian endured still more, for in the end he saw his 
power depart and his race disappear from the soil he had loved so long. 

Meanwhile in New York and west of it, the great confederated tribes of the 
Iroquois or the " Six Nations " ruled over all the surrounding country. North- 
ward to Quebec, southward to Maryland, westward to Illinois and Michigan, 
they controlled the tributary tribes, and by their political ability, their courage 


and their power, they daily established themselves more and more firmly. Mo- 
hawks, Onondagas, Cayugas, Oneidas, Senecas and Tuscaroras, they founded a 
federation or league, and with an elaborate polity and much advancement in the 
arts of life, with strong towns and stockaded forts, they thought themselves 
invincible. The towns were well fortified, and their palisades proved sure de- 
fenses even against the dreaded powder and balls. For more than a hundred 
years the Iroquois fought the French in Canada, or defended themselves against 
the French invasions in New York. The fingers of a single hand will suffice 
for the victories of the white man, yet in the end the Iroquois were so weakened 
and decimated by Frontenac, that their power was broken. Partly they owed 



this result, however, to the extraordinary diplomatic ability of the chief of the 
Hurons, their hereditary enemies, who with the skill of a Talleyrand so manipu- 
lated both French and Indians as to greatly prolong the war. 

In Pennsylvania alone was there peace. Coming over in the last half of 
the seventeenth century, William Penn brought with him Quaker principles 
and Quaker methods. For the first time in the history of our dealings with the 
aborigines we not only began with justice but maintained it. Penn bought the 
land with much merchandise, and thereafter held the red man as of one blood 
with the white man. There were neither wars nor massacres, and in the dark 


Story of the Indian this treaty shines with the light of righteousness. On the 
Pacific coast, too, was a brief brightness. There Sir Francis Drake landed in 
the "fair and good bay " of San Francisco, in 1579, and so won the hearts of 
the natives that they made him king, and wept sore for his departure ; but this 
was only an episode, and not the long test of daily contact which the Pennsyl- 
vania Quakers bore so serenely. Other and smaller points of light there were ; 
stars in the dark night. It was not until 1528 that any man remembered that 
these savages had souls, but thereafter there were never wanting brave and 
holy priests who dared unknown dangers and endured all things to teach here 



and there a few. Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits, equaled each other in 
labors and martyrdoms in Florida and New Mexico, while the story of the 
Jesuits in the North and West is the very romance of heroism. The grants 
under which the Protestant English took possession of their lands had much to 
say of the noble work of bringing civilization and Christianity to the "infidels 
and savages living in these parts," and Virginia early made some efforts to 
establish schools and induce "the children of those barbarians" to learn the 
"elements of literature " and " the Christian religion," but we hear little of 
practical results until the day when that apostle to the red men, John Eliot, first 
taught the Indians of Massachusetts and Connecticut. For thirty years he 


lived among them and taught them to read, to work, to pray. He gave them a 
Bible in their own tongue, and amid labors many and perils more, he and his 
faithful follower, Thomas Mayhew, gathered from among those hunted and 
fighting savages six Indian churches, whose more than a thousand " praying 
Indians " once and acrain stood firm arainst fearful odds, and became a bulwark 
of safety to their pale-faced neighbors. 

While the colonists were erowine strong in the North, and circumstances 
were speedily to change the Indian problem, the red men of the South were 
beginning a career unusual in our annals, since it continues in unbroken sequence 
unto this day. The Indian has gone from New England and the middle West ;; 


the great league of the Iroquois survives only in the legal privileges still accorded 
the poor remnants of the Six Nations ; the warrior of the plains has hardly a 
link with Powhatan or Pontiac ; but the Cherokee and the Seminole are still 
Indian nations, and still treat with us and still keep to their proud isolation, as 
their forefathers did. Cherokees, Chickasaws, Seminoles, Creeks and Choctaws, 
in the early days they spread over the South from the hills of Carolina to the 
plains of Texas. The Spaniards found them there and so did the French. The 
Choctaws joined themselves to the French to massacre and exterminate their 
neighbors, the splendid Natchez ; the Chickasaws beat back the invading French- 
men allied with the Choctaws, and owned no masters. The Cherokees met the 
friendship of Gov. Oglethorpe in Georgia with like fidelity and friendship, but met 
treachery and blood in the Carolinas with like treachery and blood, until much 
fighting and many troops were spent in conquering them. The Creeks and 
Seminoles kept proud state along the Ohio, in Georgia and in Florida, and 
during the vicissitudes of their northern brethren, their lives went on more 
nearly as of old than was possible in the North. 

The wars between France and England for the possession of the New 
World in America, brought about new conditions for the Indian. It is no 
longer conflicts between separate tribes and their white neighbors we have to 
consider, but battles which were part of a larger plan and attacks inspired from 
a different motive. The chronicle becomes no longer so much the story of 
great chiefs, and struggles for tribal existence, but the Indians "were tossed 
upon the bayonets of the contending parties, courted no allies, used as scourges, 
and at all times disdained as equals." For nearly fifty years the French and 
their allies, the Algonquin tribes, made constant and bloody forays all along the 
English frontier defended by the Iroquois. Through central New York, Massa- 
chusetts, southern New Hampshire and Maine, there was no rest to the 
settler. At any moment the dreaded war-whoop might be heard, and an awful 
death awaited him, while worse captivity was the certain fate of the women and 
children. The familiar story of Deerfield, Massachusetts, was a twice-told tale 
all through this wide and thickly-settled region. A remote little town, it was 
marked for attack because of its unhappy possession of a church bell intended 
for an Indian village in Canada. To rescue this bell, the ever-ready Indians 
joined the French soldiers, and amidst the snows of February, the town was 
burned to the eround, and one hundred and twelve inhabitants all killed or 
carried in cruel captivity in the eight weeks' march through the deep snows 
and bitter cold to Canada. Death brought welcome release to many of the 
party. Thus did the whole country suffer, and thus did the red man make his 
name feared above all things else. 

The varying fortunes of France and England, constantly brought similar 
fluctuations to the peace of the New World, in the fifty years before the treaties 



of Utrecht and Aix la Chapelle ; but that famous peace scarcely more than 
altered the scene of the fighting on this side the water. English and French 
alike claimed the country west of the Alleghanies, and the French, with their 


Indian allies, lost no time in asserting 

their claims and defendino- their rights. 

o o 

Then it was, that in the spring of 1754, one George Washington, the young 
adjutant general of the Virginia militia, scarcely come to his majority, won his 
spurs in the unavailing campaign against Fort Duquesne. For more than five 


years the desultory war went on. Braddock's defeat was followed by many 
another French success, with its horrid accompaniment of savage warfare. 
Under Montcalm still more of the Indians joined the French, even the Iroquois 
uniting with the other tribes against the English, and it was not until 1760, that 
Canada was finally surrendered to the British. At last the harassed colonists 
hoped for peace, and dreamed that the scalping knife was thrown away. 

Shortly enough it proved a vain dream. As the plantations and towns 
crowded the hunting grounds farther and farther back, it " threw the Indian 
who had become possessed of habits modified by contact with the whites, 
upon the tribes living in the ancient manner, and bred tribal jealousies." 
The fierce struggle between French and English for the possession of the 
Mississippi Valley, made a new opportunity, and once more a great warrior 
arose, determined to make a desperate effort to free his people from the 
white man. We have hardly given enough credit to the military capacity 
and the genius for governing, of these great chiefs. They played French 
against English, Spanish against French, tribe against tribe ; they conspired, 
manipulated men and armies, fought or covenanted, with the skill and 
insight and courage of great commanders. What was known as " Pontiac's 
War" was in its inception and development a revolution worthy to rank with 
the great uprisings of the old world. The Indian is always and everywhere 
possessed of the genius of ruling. State-craft is his birthright equally with 
wood-craft. Pontiac, leader of the Ottawas, Ojibways, and Pottawatomies, 
inspired by the French to take revenge, and eager to free his people from 
the hated dominion of the English, dreamed a dream of patriotism. To 
more than usual ability in many directions, he joined the imperious will and 
high ambition which mark the conqueror. He had ever been victorious, 
and he planned on a given day to sweep away the forts and crowd the 
invader into the sea ; and not without a sense of what he was undertaking, 
he proposed to do this by bringing back the French. All along the Canadian 
frontier, and in Pennsylvania and Virginia as well, the war raged for more 
than three years, before the great chief finally surrendered the hope he so 
cherished, and in 1 766 made a reluctant treaty with the English. 

The hundred years which closed with the end of the Colonial period had 
not been altogether without effort to civilize and Christianize the red heathen. 
In Pennsylvania and Ohio the Moravians had won the hearts and lives of the 
Delawares until their towns blossomed with peace and prosperity, and the lives 
of the people gave goodly witness to the faith they professed. Beset by hostile 
Indians and worse beset by hostile whites, three times they were driven — these 
Christian Indians — from their beautiful homes into a new wilderness, and practis- 
ing to the full the doctrine of love and forgiveness, these converted savages made 
no resistance. At last they were rewarded with the crown of martyrdom, when 



at Gnaden Huten, without pretext, ninety unresisting and Christian Indians were 
slaughtered in cold blood by the white men, and no voice of man, woman or 
child was left to tell the tale. Such instances are in striking contrast with the just 
dealings of Penn in Pennsylvania. Among the Iroquois the Church of England, 
the Moravians again, and the Presbyterians made much progress in teaching 
the children and spreading religion throughout the tribes. From one of their 
schools arose Hamilton College. In New England too, John Eliot had left 
worthy successors. The names of Brainard, Jonathan Edwards, Sergeant and 


Wheelock are known to us still by their labors and their success in teaching the 
Indian youth ; and from both sides the water came the money to carry on their 
work. It was the last named. Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, whose determination to 
start a boarding school for his wards resulted in the establishment of Dartmouth 
College, and among his pupils was the well known Chief of the Mohawks, 
Joseph Brant, who became such a figure in the Revolutionary War. 

When the Colonies finally rebelled against the Mother Country, in 1775, 
the English had learned much from the French and Indian war as to the military 


value of the alliance with the Indians. In one way or another they had suc- 


ceeded in gaining the friendship of most of the tribes. The Iroquois confedera- 
tion was their natural ally, through its able chief, Joseph Brant, whose sister had 


married the famous governor, Sir William Johnson ; and thus the border line was 
always open to the British. As the French had thrown the Indian upon the set- 
tlers in the past, so the English now set their savage allies upon the defenseless 
towns and unprotected forts. The tomahawk and scalping knife were again the 
recognized weapons of warfare, and throughout New York and even in Pennsyl- 
vania terror was again abroad. It was in this struggle that the famous Seneca, 
Red Jacket, fought with desperation, and opposed to the last the treaty which 
buried the hatchet, with such eloquence that twenty-five years later Lafayette still 
remembered his words. In the Northwest, the French influence happily pre- 
vailed to prevent the Indian defection to any great extent, but in Kentucky and 
West Virginia there was desperate fighting in a sort of guerrilla warfare be- 
tween the red braves and such backwoodsmen as Daniel Boone. In the South 
the warlike Creeks made haste to attack the whites, but met with short shrift. 
Meanwhile the Continental Congress had placed the affairs of the Indians in 
three departments, under direction of some of its most famous men, and even 
employed the Indians in its armies. But only an isolated few were actively on 
the side of the Colonists. 

The close of the Revolutionary War brought only a partial cessation of the 
Indian warfare. The red man was by no means disposed to give up his country 
without a struggle, and all throughout the interior, in what is now Indiana, Illinois, 
and Wisconsin, and alonof the Ohio River, there were constant outbreaks, and 
battles of great severity. The conflict in Indiana brought forward the services 
of a young Lieutenant, William Henry Harrison, who for many years had much 
to do with Indians, both as officer and as Governor of the new Indian Territory. 
In 181 1 appeared another of those great Indian chiefs whose abilities and influ- 
ence are well worth attention and study. Tecumseh, a mighty warrior of mixed 
Creek and Shawnee blood, once more dreamt the old dream of freeing his people. 
With eloquence and courage he urged them on, by skill he combined the tribes 
in a new alliance, and, encouraged by British influence, he looked forward to a 
great success. While he sought to draw the Southern Indians into his scheme, 
his brother rashly joined battle with General Harrison, and was utterly defeated 
in the fight which gained for Harrison the tide of Old Tippecanoe. Disap- 
pointed and disheartened at this destruction of his life-work, Tecumseh threw 
all his great influence on the British side in the War of 1 8 1 2, where he dealt much 
destruction to the United States troops. At Sandusky and Detroit and Chicago, 
and at other less important forts, the Indian power was severely felt ; at Terre 
Haute the young Captain Zachary Taylor met them with such courage and read- 
iness of resources that they were finally repulsed, but rarely did a similar good 
fortune befall our troops ; and it was more than a month after Commodore Perry 
won victory for us at Lake Erie, that Tecumseh himself was killed, and the 
twenty-five hundred Indians of his force were finally scattered in the great fight 


of the Thames River, where our troops were commanded by WilHam Henry 
Harrison and Richard M. Johnson, afterward President and Vice-President of the 
United States. For a Httle time the Northwest had peace. But in the South 
the warfare was not over. Tecumseh had stirred up the Creeks and Seminoles 
against the whites, and throughout Alabama, Georgia, and Northern Florida the 
Creek War raged with all its horrid accompaniments until 1815 ; even the 
redoubtable Andrew Jackson could not conquer the brave Creeks until they 
were almost exterminated, and then a small remnant still remained in the 
swamps of Florida to be heard of at a later time. 

Thus ends a brief and hasty chronicle of the American Indians in the early 
days of our Nation. Thereafter they were a subject race, and a new policy was 
adopted in which we fixed the terms, and they, rebelling or accepting our de- 
cision as it might be, in the end could only submit. But as from the beginning 
so it has gone on until now ; as we pushed the frontier farther and farther back, 
at every stage the Indian made one more effort for his home and his hunting 
grounds. As in Massachusetts and Virginia, so in Dakota and New Mexico, 
Powhatan and King Philip and Sitting Bull and Geronimo have alike fought 
for their country and their people. Let us honor these patriots and not despise 
them. And we may well admire them also, for braver warriors, abler states- 
men, wiser rulers the world has seldom seen. Small was their field, cruel their 
code, savage their people, but in despair and difficulty they wrought great 
works. A pity it is that so many great names are forgotten, so many brave 
rleeds unsung. 

Anna L. Dawes. 

^ ■ 



Before the new Government of the United States was fully upon its feet 
it recognized the necessity and duty of caring for its Indian population. In 
1775, a year before the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress 
divided the Indians into three Departments, Northern, Middle, and Southern, 
each under the care of three or more Commissioners, among whom we find 

no less personages than Oliver Wolcott, 
Philip Schuyler, Patrick Henry, and Ben- 
jamin Franklin. As early as 1832 the 
young nation found itself confronted with 
an Indian problem, and created a separate 
Bureau for the charge of the red men, 
and inaugurated a policy in its treatment 
of them. Speaking in general, we have 
altered this policy three times. As a 
matter of fact, we have certainly altered 
its details, changed its plans, and adopted 
a new point of view as changing Adminis- 
trations have chansfed the administrators 
of our Indian affairs. But in the large, 
there have been three great steps in our 
Indian policy, and these have to some 
extent grown out of our changing condi- 
tions. The first plan was that of the 
reservations. Under that system, as the Indian land was wanted by the white 
population he was removed across the Mississippi and still further west, pushed 
step by step beyond and beyond ; and as time went on and the population fol- 
lowed hard after, he was confined to designated tracts. It was no matter that 
these tracts were absolutely guaranteed to him, he was still driven off them again 
and again as the farmer or the miner demanded the land. In time a new policy 
was attempted, or, rather, an old policy was revived, that of concentrating the 




whole body ot Indians in one State or Territory, but the obvious impossibility 
of that scheme soon wrought its own end. Less than twenty years ago the 
present plan took its place, that of education and eventual absorption. 

In 1830 the country seemed to stretch beyond any possible need of 
the young nation, lusty as it was, and the wide wilderness of the Rocky 
Mountains to furnish hunting grounds for all time. The Mississippi Valley 
and the Northwest were still unsettled and uneasy, and in the South the 
Five Nations were greatly in the way of their white neighbors, and the 
scheme of removing the red inhabitants beyond the Mississippi was begun. 
The first removals were, like the last, times of trouble and disturbance, 
and then, as now, there were two parties in the tribes, those who saw there 
was no way but submission, and those who indulged the fruitless dream of 
revolt. Thus the Sac and Fox tribe of Wisconsin was divided, and although 
Keokuk and one band went peaceably to their new home among the lowas, 
Black Hawk and his followers were slow to depart, and were removed by 
force. The Indian Department failed to furnish corn enough for the new 
settlement, and going to seek it among the Winnebagoes, the Indians came 
into collision with the Government. Thereafter ensued a series of misunder- 
standings, and consequent fights, and great alarm among the whites and the 
destruction of the Indians. The story is the same story, almost to details, that 
every year has seen from that day to this. 

Under President Monroe several treaties were made with the Five Nations, 
by which, one after another, they ceded their Southern lands to the Government, 
and took in exchange the country now known as the Indian Territory. They 
were already far advanced in civilization, with leaders combining in blood 
and brain the Indian astuteness and the white man's experience and educa- 
tion. John Ross, a half-breed chief of the Cherokees, of extraordinary ability, 
brought about the removal under conditions more favorable than often occurred. 
He was bitterly opposed by full half the Indians, and it was not without suf- 
ferings and losses of more than one kind that the great Southern league was 
removed to the fair and fertile land they had chosen in the far-off West. It was 
owing to the sagacity of John Ross and his associates that this land was 
secured to them, as no other land has ever been secured to any Indian 
tribe. They hold it to-day by patent, as secure in the sight of the 
law as an old Dutch manor house or Virginia plantation, and all the learning 
of the highest tribunals has not yet found the way to evade ©r disregard 
these solemn obligations. To these men, too, and to the missionaries 
who had long taught these tribes, do they owe an elaborate and effective civili- 
zation, and a governmental polity which preserves for them alone, among all 
their red brethren, the title and the state of nations. The Seminoles, who were 
of the Creek blood, were divided, some of them going west with their brethren. 



some of them, the larger part, remaining in Florida. With these, about four 
thousand in all, under Osceola, the Government fought a seven years' war, costing 
forty millions of dollars and untold lives. After like fashion have all our "re- 
movals" proceeded, and from like causes — the greed of the white man and 
the ferocity of the outraged Indian. It is useless and impossible to give the de- 
tails of all the various tribes that have been pushed about, hither and yon. In 
1830 the East was already crowding toward the West, and every decade saw 
the frontier moved onward with giant strides. Everywhere the Indian was an 
undesirable neighbor, and when, in 1 849, the discovery of gold began to create a 
new nation on the Pacific slope, a pressure began from that side also, and the 
intervening deserts became a thoroughfare for the pilgrims of fortune and the 
many lovers of adventure. From year to year the United States made fresh 
treaties with the innumerable tribes ; those in 
the East were gone already, those in the interior 
were following fast, and there had arisen the 
new necessity of dealing with those in the far 
West. One tribe after another would be planted 
on a reservation millions of acres in extent and 
apparently far beyond the home of civilization, 
and almost in a twelvemonth the settler would 
be upon its border demanding its broad acres. 
The reservations were altered, reduced, taken 
away altogether, at the pleasure of the Govern- 
ment, with little regard to the rights or wishes of 
the Indian. Usually this brought about fighting, 
and it produced a state of permanent discon- 
tent that wrought harm for both settler and 
savage. The Indian grew daily more and more 
treacherous and constantly more cruel. The 
white settler was daily in greater danger, and 
constantly more full of revenge. 

A new complication entered into the problem. The game was fast dis- 
appearing, and therewith the life of the Indian. It became necessary for the 
Government to furnish rations and clothes, lest he starve and freeze. Cheating 
was the rule and deception the every-day experience of these savages. In 
1795 General Wayne gained the nickname of General To-morrow, so slow was 
the Government to fulfill his promises ; and thus for more than a hundred years 
it has always been to-morrow for the Indian. Exasperated beyond endurance, 
he was ever ready to retaliate, and the horrors of an Indian war constantly hung 
over the pioneer. During all this period we treated these Indians as if they 
were foreign nations, and made solemn treaties with them, agreeing to furnish 




them rations or marking the reservation bounds. We have made more than a 
thousand of these treaties, and General Sherman is the authority for the state- 
ment that we have broken every one ourselves. Day by day the gluttonous 
idleness, the loss of hope and future, the sense of wrong, and the bitter feeling 
of contempt united to degrade the red man as well as to madden him. The 
fighting did not cease, for all the promises or the threats of the Government. 
But always, it is credibly declared, the first cause of an Indian outbreak has 
been a wrong suffered. And always, in these latter days as in the earlier 
period, it has meant one more effort on the part of the old warriors to regain 

the power they saw slipping 
away so fast. Both these 
causes entered into the awful 
Sioux War in Minnesota in 
1862. Suffering from piled-up 
wrones, smartingf under the 
loss of power, and conscious 
that the Civil War was their 
opportunity, a party of one 
hundred and fifty Sioux began 
the most horrid massacre of 
the last fifty years ; the begin- 
ning of a struggle which lasted 
more than a year, which was 
remarkable for the steadfast 
fidelity of the Christian Indians, 
to whose help and succor whole 
bodies of white men owed 
their lives. Four years later, 
in 1866, the discovery of gold 
in Montana caused the inva- 
sion of the Sioux reservation, 
and Red Cloud set about defending it. Scarcely more than thirty years old, 
but no mean warrior, he fought the white man long and desperately and with 
the cunning of his race. This outbreak was scarcely quieted when another 
occurred. As was its wont, the Government forgot the promises of its treaty 
of peace, and a small band of the Cheyennes retaliated with a raid upon their 
white neighbors. General Sheridan made this the occasion he was seeking 
for a war of extermination, and in November, 1868, Lieutenant Custer fell upon 
Black Kettle's village and after a severe fight destroyed the village, killing 
more than a hundred warriors and capturing half as many women and children. 
The next year General Sheridan ordered the Sioux and Cheyennes off the 



hunting grounds the treaty had reserved to them, but these were the strongest 
and bravest of the tribes and they resisted the order. A hst of heroes, Crook, 
Terry, Custer, Miles, and McKenzie, led our troops, and among the chiefs whom 
they met in a long and desperate struggle were Crazy Horse and Spotted Tail, 
notable warriors both. At the battle of the Big Horn, by some misunderstanding 
or mismanagement General Custer was left with only five companies to meet 
nearly three thousand savage Sioux. He fought desperately until the last but 
he himself was killed, and so utterly was his command destroyed that not a 
single man was left alive. The attempt to remove the Modocs from California 
to Oregon in 1872 was the signal for a new war ; and a year or two afterward 
similar results followed when it was attempted to push the Nez Perces from the 
homes they had sought in Oregon to a new reservation in Idaho. This tribe 
under their famous leader. Chief Joseph, were hard to conquer. Their military 
orranization, their civilized method of warfare, their couraee and skill, were 
publicly complimented by General Sherman and General Howard and General 
Gibbons, who declared Chief Joseph to be one of the greatest of modern 

In 1877, discouraged at all our efforts to hold the Indians in check, it was 
determined by Secretary Schurz, then in charge of the Department of the 
Interior, to remove them all to the western part of the Indian Territory, 
where the Five Nations would cede the necessary land, and there create 
an Indian State. Great trouble arose from the attempt to carry out this 
Avell-meant, but impossible, effort. A single story, the story of the 
Northern Cheyennes, will illustrate the wrongs the Indian suffered as well as 
those he inflicted. The Cheyennes, as has been seen, were a tribe of great 
warriors, some of them at home in the hills of the North, some in the hills of 
the South. Cheyennes and Arapahoes, Kiowas and Comanches, were banded 
together in a close and common bond, and at first the friends of the Govern- 
ment, had become frequently its enemies, by reason of broken faith, cruel 
treatment, injustice, and downright wrong. That chronicle of misery, "A 
Century of Dishonor," contains forty pages of facts taken from the Government 
records, which relate the inexcusable and indefensible treatment of this tribe by 
the Government and the vain effort for endurance of the Cheyennes, inter- 
spersed with frequent savage outbreaks when human nature could endure no 
longer. It includes the account of a massacre of helpless Indian women and 
children under a flag of truce ; a war begun over ponies stolen from the 
Indians and sold in the open market by the whites in a land where the horse 
thief counts with the murderer ; another incited by rage against a trader who 
paid one-dollar bills for ten-dollar bills ; and tells of whole tracts of land seized 
without compensation by the United States itself The Northern Cheyennes 
had been taken by force to the Indian Territory, and in its awful heat, with 


scant and poor rations, a pestilence came on. Two thousand were sick at once, 
and many died because there was not medicine enough. At last three hundred 
braves, old men and young, with their women and children, broke away and, 
making a raid through Western Kansas, sought their Nebraska home. This 
was not a mild and peaceable tribe. It was fierce and savage beyond most, 
and they were wild with long endured injustice and frantic with a nameless 
terror. Three times they drove back the troops who were sent to face them 
and, living by plunder, they made a red trail all through Kansas, until they were 
finally captured in Nebraska in December. They refused to go back to the 
Indian Territory, and the Department ordered them starved into submission. 
Food and fuel were taken from those imprisoned Indians. Four days they had 
neither food nor fire — and the mercury froze at Fort Robinson in that month ! 
And when at last two chiefs came out under a flag of truce, they were seized and 
imprisoned. Then pandemonium broke loose inside. The Indians broke up the 
useless stoves, and fought with the twisted iron. They brought out a few 
hidden arms, and howling like devils they rushed out into the night and the 
snow. Seven days later they were shot down like dogs. 

Experiences like this soon ended the attempt to gather together all our 
Indian wards, and we returned to the old plan of the reservations, but with little 
more certainty of peace than before. Again and again starvation was followed 
by fighting, nameless outrages upon the Indian by cruel outrages upon the 
white man. Whether Apaches under Geronimo in New Me.xico, or Sioux in 
Dakota, it was the old story over again. Thus with constant danger menacing 
the white settler from the infuriated and savage Indian, and constant outrage 
upon the red man by rapacious and cruel whites, the government found a new 
policy necessary. By a strange and unusual sequence of events this policy was 
inaugurated. In 1869 a sharp difference arose between the two Houses of 
Congress over the appropriations to pay for eleven treaties then just negotiated, 
and the session closed with no appropriation for the Indian service. The neces- 
sity for some measure was extreme ; the plan was devised of a bill, which was 
passed at an extra session, putting two millions of dollars in the hands of Presi- 
dent Grant, to be used as he saw fit, for the civilization and protection of the 
Indian. He immediately called to his aid a commission composed of nine phil- 
anthropic gentlemen to overlook the affairs of the Indian and advise him there- 
upon. This Commission served without salary and continues to this day its 
beneficent work. Another valuable measure resulted. At the next Congress 
a law was passed forbidding any more treaties with Indians, and thenceforth 
they became our wards, not our rivals. 

The war of 1876 had indirectly another beneficent result of most far-reach- 
ing consequences. Among the brave men who had fought the Cheyennes and 
Kiowas and Comanches, was Captain Richard H. Pratt, who was put in charge 



of the prisoners sent to Fort Marion, Florida, as a punishment worse than 
death. They were the wildest and fiercest of warriors, who had fought long 
and desperately. On their long way to the East they had killed their guard, 
and repeatedly tried, one and another, to kill themselves. But Captain Pratt 
was a man of wonderful executive ability, of splendid courage and great faith in 
God and man. By firmness and patience and wondrous tact he gradually 
taught them to read and to work, and when after three years the Government 
offered to return them to their homes, twenty-three refused to go. Captain 
Pratt appealed to the Government to continue their education, and General Arm- 
strong, with his undying faith in human beings as children of one Father, and 
with his sublime enthusiasm for humanity, took most of them at Hampton Insti- 
tute, the rest being sent to the North under the care of Bishop Huntington of 
New York. In the end these men returned to their tribes Christian men, and 
with the seventy who returned directly from Florida, every one became a power 
for peace and industry in his tribe. Out of this small beginning grew the great 
policy of Indian education, and the long story of death and destruction began 
to change to the bright chronicle of peace and education. 

What, then, is the condition of the Indian to-day ? In number there are 
scarcely more than two hundred and forty thousand in the whole country. Of 
these less than one-fifth depend upon the Government for support. All told, 
they are less than the inhabitants of Buffalo or Cleveland or Pittsburgh, but 
they are not dying out, the rather steadily increasing. They are divided and 
subdivided into multitudinous tribes of different characteristics and widely differ- 
ent degrees of civilization. Some are Sioux — these are brave and able and 
intelligent ; they live in wigwams or tepees, and are dangerous and often hostile. 
Some are Zunis, and live in houses and make beautiful pottery, and are mild 
and peaceable, and do not question the ways of the Great Father at Washing- 
ton. Some are roving bands of Shoshones, dirty, ignorant, and shiftless — the 
tramps of their race — who are on every man's side at once. Some are Chilcats 
or Klinkas, whose Alaskan homes offer new problems of new kinds for every 
day we know them. And some are Cherokees, living in fine houses, dressed in 
the latest fashion, and spending their winters in Washington or Saint Louis. 
Yet these, and many more of many kinds, are all alike Indians. They have their 
own governments, their own unwritten laws, their own customs. As a race 
they are neither worthless nor degraded. The Indian is not only brave, strong, 
able by inheritance and practice to endure beyond belief but he is patient under 
wrong, ready and eager to learn, and willing to undergo much privation for that 
end ; usually affectionate in his family relations, grateful to a degree, pure and 
careful of the honor of his wife and daughter ; and he is also patriotic to a fault. 
He has a great genius for government, and an unusual interest in it. He is full 
of manly honor, and he is supremely religious. His history and traditions are 



but just now discovered, to the delight and the surprise of scientific students. 
His daily life is a thing of elaborate ceremonial, and his national existence is as 
carefully regulated as our own, and by an intricate code. It is true that our 
failure to comprehend his character and our neglect to study his customs have 
bred many faults in him and have fostered much evil. Our treatment of him, 
moreover, has produced and increased a hostility which has been manifested in 
savage methods for which we have had little mercy. But we have not always 
given the same admiration to warlike virtues when our enemy was an Indian that 
we have showered without stint upon ancient Gaul or modern German. The 
popular idea of the Indian not only misconceives his character, but to a large 


degree his habits also. Even the wildest tribes live for the most part in huts or 
cabins made of logs, with two windows and a door. In the middle is a fire, 
sometimes with a stovepipe and sometimes without. Here the food is cooked, 
mostly stewed, in a kettle hung gypsy-fashion, or laid on stones over the fire. 
Around this fire, each in a particular place of his own, lies or sits the whole 
family. Sometimes the cooking is done out of doors, and in summer the close 
cabin is exchanged for a tepee or tent. Here they live, night and day. At 
night a blanket is hung up, partitioning the tent for the younger women, and if 
the family is very large, there are often two tents, in the smaller of which sleep 
the young girls in charge of an old woman. These tents or cabins are clustered 



close together, and their inhabitants spend their days smoking, talking, eating, 
quarreling, as the case may be. Sometimes near them, sometimes miles away, 
is the agent's house and the Government buildings. These are usually a com- 
missary building where the food for the Indians is kept, a blacksmith shop, the 
store of the trader, school buildings, and perhaps a saw-mill. To this place the 
Indians com.e week by week for their food. The amount and nature of the 
rations called for by the different treaties vary greatly among different tribes. 
But everywhere the Indian has come into some sort of contact with the whites, 
and usually he makes some shift to adopt the white man's ways. A few are 
rich, some own houses, and almost universally, now. Government schools teach 

the children something 
^^^^^~"^~^~~^"^=~~^ " " of the elements of 

learning as well as the 
indispensable English. 
The immediate 
control of the reserva- 
tion Indian is in the 
hands of the agent, 
whose power is almost 
absolute, and, like all 
despotisms, is very 
good or intolerable, as the indi- 
vidual character of the man may 
be. The agencies are inspected 
from time to time by Inspectors, 
who report directly to the Com- 
missioner [of Indian Affairs], who in his turn is an officer of the Interior Depart- 
ment and responsible to the Secretary, who is, of course, amenable to the 
President. In each house of Congress is a committee having charge of all 
lemslation relating to Indian Affairs. Besides these officials there is the Indian 
Commission already mentioned. The National Indian Rights Association and 
the Women's National Indian Association are the unofficial and voluntary 
guardians of the Indian work. It is their task to spread correct information, to 
create intelligent interest, to set in motion public and private forces which will 
bring about legislation, and by public meetings and private labors to prevent 
wrongs against the Indian, and to further good work for him of many kinds. 
While the Indian Rights Association does the most public and official work for 
the race and has large influence over legislation, the Women's Indian Associa- 
tion concerns itself more largely with various philanthropic efforts in behalf of 
the individual, and thus the two bodies supplement each other. 

Hopeless and impossible as it seemed twenty years ago to absorb the 




Indian, to-day we see the process more than begun and in some cases half accom- 

pHshed ; and in this work the Government, philanthropy, education, religion, 

have all had their share, and so closely have these walked together that neither 

can be set above or before the others. We began to 

realize, it is true, that our duty and our 

safety alike lay in educating these Indians, 

as early as 18 19, when Congress appro- -; 

priated ^10,000 for that purpose, and -cif 

still earlier President Washington de- i^.jjm 


APRIL II, 1873. 

clared to a deputation of Indians his 

belief that industrial education was their 

greatest need ; but it is only within 

fifteen years that determined efforts 

have been made or adequate provision afforded. Beginning with $10,000 in 

1819, we had reached only $20,000 in 1877 ; but the appropriation for 1891 

for Indian education was $2,291,000. With this money we support thirteen 


great industrial training schools established at various convenient points, and 
five more are about to be added. In them nearly 5000 children are learning not 
only books, but all manner of industries, and are adding to civilization the train- 
ing of character. There are no less than seventy boarding schools on the vari- 
ous reservations teaching and training as many more of these children of the 
hills and plains, and half as many gather daily at the one hundred little day 
schools which dot the prairies, some of them appearing to the uninitiated to be 
miles away from any habitation. This does not include the more than thirty 
mission schools of the various Churches. But all together it is hoped that in the 
excellent Government schools now provided, in the splendid missionaiy semi- 
naries, and in the great centres of light like Hampton and Carlisle and Haskell 
Institute, we shall in 1892 do something for the education of nearly or quite 
two-thirds of all the 30,000 Indian children who can be reached with schools. 

The two great training schools at the East, Hampton and Carlisle, have 
proved object lessons for the white man as well as the Indian, and the opposi- 
tion they constantly encounter from those who do not believe that the red man 
can ever receive civilization is in some sort a proof of their value. In the main, 
they and all their kind have one end — the thorough and careful training in books 
and work and home life of the Indian boy and girl, and their methods are much 
alike. Once a year the Superintendents or teachers of these schools go out 
among the Indians and bring back as many boys and girls as they can persuade 
the fathers and mothers to send. At first these children came in dirt and filth, 
and with little or no ideas of any regular or useful life, but of late many of them 
have learned some beginnings of civilization in the day schools. They are 
taught English first, and by degrees to make bread and sew and cook and wash 
and keep house if they are girls ; the trade of a printer, a blacksmith, a car- 
penter, etc., if they are boys. They study books, the boys are drilled, and from 
kind, strong men and gentle, patient women they learn to respect work and even 
to love it, to turn their hands to any needed effort, to adapt themselves to new 
situations, the meaning of civilization. 

It is charged that the Indian educated in these schools does not remain 
civilized, but shortly returns to his old habits and customs. Can an Indian boy 
or girl be so far civilized in five years, it is asked, that he will withstand all the 
forces, personal and social, striving to draw him back to the easy ways of bar- 
barism when he returns to his old associates ? A detailed examination into the 
lives of three hundred and eighteen Indian students who have gone out from 
Hampton Institute has shown that only thirty-five have in any way disappointed 
the expectations of their friends and teachers, and only twelve have failed 
altogether ; and the extraordinary test of the last Sioux war, in which only one 
of these students, and he a son-in-law of Sitting Bull, joined the hostiles, may 
well settle the question. 



With the passage of the Severalty Law, in 1887, a new era opened before 
the Indian. Under it, if he will, there is secured to him and each member of 
his family a homestead of eighty acres, inalienable and exempt from taxation 
for twenty-five years. With this homestead comes citizenship and all its privi- 
leges and immunities, obligations and opportunities. All these are his, also, 
without allotment of any land in severalty, whenever he will abandon his tribe 
and take upon himself the ways of the white man. Nearly twenty thousand 
have already since the passage of 
this law taken their place in the citi- 
zenship of the nation. The transi- 
tion from a state of dependent wards, 
whose dwelling place and manner of 
life, whose food and raiment and 
very being, were controlled by 
another, into the independence and 
responsibilities of United States 
citizenship, has been so sudden, and 
in some cases without due prepara- 
tion for so great a change, as to prove 
a severe test of the manhood in the 
Indian. There have been failures, 
but they have been marvelously i&w, 
and this way out of barbarism to 
civilization is becoming plainer and 
surer every day. 

The providing of an inalienable 

home for the Indian, and citizenship, 

with all that pertains to that royal 

title, to all who avail themselves of 

this grant, has brought along with it 

the necessity for new laws, almost 

a new code, for the government and 

protection of this race. Citizenship, 

provided in the Severalty Law, by its own force brought every one it reached at 

once into the same forum and under the same shield as every other citizen of 

the United States. It also defined and guarded the marriage relation and the 

descent of property, as well as other domestic relations, hitherto shadowy and 

but little regarded. But the reservation and wild Indian cannot appeal to this 

law for protection or assertion of his rights. It has been more difficult to bring 

him within the pale of legal enactment either for restraint or protection. Yet 

great progress has been made even here. The judicious expenditure of large 



appropriations for the education of the Indian has done much to clear the way 
and make the brineing^ of this class of Indians under the restraining^ and 
civilizing influence of law. It has not always been possible, among savages, to 
do this in strict conformity with the normal methods pointed out in the Consti- 
tution which governs the States and civilized people, but methods have been 
adopted suited to the conditions of the several tribes, and best adapted to the 
maintenance of peace, the protection of person and property, and the lesson 
of restraint which comes from familiarity with the administration of law in its 
various forms. This has been accomplished to a remarkable degree through 
the agency of the Indian himself An Indian police selected from the most 
trustworthy and efficient Indians, paid and uniformed by the Government, 
patrol the reservations, preserving the peace and enforcing an observance of 
law. A "Court of Indian Offenses," presided over by three discreet and 
influential Indians appointed by and under the constant supervision of the 
Secretary of the Interior, try and punish those who are charged with the com- 
mission of minor offenses ; while in the matter of the more serious crimes of 
murder, arson, robbery, and the Hke, perpetrated either by or upon an Indian, 
the offender is by law to be tried and punished in all respects as if both parties 
were white men. In this way substantial security to person and property 
prevails upon the reservation. 

It has been said that religion and philanthropy and the Government have 
gone hand in hand in the work of educating the Indian to a new conception of 
manhood. Without the work done for him by the missionaries, no progress 
would have been possible. And if some of the work already described has been 
labeled philanthropic or legislative or educational, it has been as truly missionary 
work as any done on the frontier, and its motives and many times its methods 
have been the missionary zeal and the missionary teaching. Captain Pratt was 
by no means the first man who ever taught an Indian. The saintly Bishop 
Whipple had lived among the Minnesota Indians for years, and that other saint, 
Dr. Rio-g-s, had g-iven his life to the Dakotas lona before, and a greneration had 
passed since Samuel Wooster suffered in prison for teaching the Cherokees. 
The Congregationalists at Santee, at Hampton, the Episcopalian Bishop Hare's 
wonderful schools in Dakota, the Presbyterians in Nebraska and Alaska, the 
Unitarians among the Crows, the Friends with the Sacs and Foxes in the South, 
and each of these and others in many other places dotted all over the land, are 
teaching the Indians of the Great Father, of Him who is the light and life of the 
world, of the salvation and brotherhood of men ; and they are eager to hear it. 
Our duty and our interest go hand in hand and the pathway is becoming plainer 
every day. 

The irresistible growth of the nation in the increase of its population 
demanding homes, in the reaching out after every element of wealth and power 



lying within its utmost confines, is absorbing, with everything else material, the 
last unoccupied acre of the heritage of the Indian. Shall it also absorb the race 
itself, and make it part of its citizenship and body politic ? Either this, or what 
is left of the Indian race, two hundred and fifty thousand, must be soon turned 
out, a homeless, penniless band of wandering, savage tramps, the terror of the 
land. There is no alternative to this outcome but absorption or extermina- 
tion. The latter being impossible, the former alone is left us. We have 
wisely accepted it, and the success 
which has thus far attended the 
undertaking to fit the race for 
absorption attests its wisdom. As 
an Indian of the old time and 
character he is fast disappearing, 
and a new strain of blood, rela- 
tively slight and not void of good 
elements, is being safely injected 
into national citizenship. If the 
work be persisted in patiently 
and kindly it will soon be ended. 
But it cannot be accomplished by 
enactment alone, nor, without that, 
by educational or missionary effort. 
All these in harmonious endeavor, 
with self-supporting citizenship as 
the end in view, bent on the lift, 
will surely and speedily raise him 
from the low condition of helpless 
and aimless and worse than useless 
barbarism, to the plane where he 
can, according to the measure of 
an ever-increasing capacity, con- 
tribute to the wealth of citizenship 
in the land. This is no small labor 
lightly turned off It is changing into civilized life the barbarism of centuries. 
The savage must be inspired with new thoughts and aspirations, and to make 
room for these the passions and tendencies of ages and generations must be 
driven out. It is not beginning with the tabula rasa of an infant, but with life 
born and bred a savage life. The infant is to be taught to walk, not only as a 
white man walks, but to shun the slippery ways toward which all its surround- 
ings, all its blood, and all the life which it inherits are drawing it. It is a great 



undertaking, and will cost much in time and money; but it is also a necessity, 
and in the end will bring full recompense. 

The Indian race is worthy of our deepest interest. Here is a people full of 
natural pride and bound together in a national feeling much stronger than we 
ourselves know anything about, crushed down by the power of a Government 
which seems to them always their enemy but always professing to be their 
protector ; full of despair that sees no hope in the future ; perplexed with the 
present, that seems to their direct ways and simple thought to have no explana- 
tion, but is always in some manner to be full of sorrow and trouble ; without 
occupation, with no one to understand their past or care for their heroes and 
their history ; shot down like dogs for disobeying law they do not comprehend, 
and execrated for the bravery that all men elsewhere are wont to admire ; losing 
at once their children and their customs ; these uncomprehended statesmen, 
these despised knights, this people, who can find no common ground with their 
destroyers, ask of us at least to know who they are, what they want, why they 
are as they are, to see where the fault lies, to know what it means when a war 
arises ; — to put ourselves in their place, and at least to pay attention. A tragedy 
of nations is going on in our midst and we sit calmly by, never giving it even 
the idle attention of our leisure. And some of the woes of this tragedy are also 
the birth-pangs of a new nation. If the sorrows of the past and the present do 
not affect us, let us at least sympathize with the hopes of the present and the 
future. We are given the unusual privilege to see. a nation born in our midst. 
Out of the darkness of the past, its ignorance, its custom-bound barbarism, its 
wild and splendid bravery of battle, a nation is coming into the light, is begin- 
ning to know knowledge, to feel the freedom of life under law, to show the less 
splendid but all-requiring bravery of the new manhood, the every-day fortitude 
of the new womanhood. 



THE history of the negro in America is, in brief, the 
record of slavery agitation, poHtical struggle, civil 
war, emancipation, and gradual growth into citizenship. 
When, over two hundred and seventy years ago — 
it is in doubt whether the correct date is 1619 or 
1620 — a few wretched negroes, some say fourteen 
some say twenty, were bartered for. provisions by the 
crew of a Dutch man-of-war, then lying off the Virginia 
coast, it would have seemed incredible that in 1890 
the negro population of the Southern States alone 
should almost reach a total of seven million souls. The peculiarity of the 
form of slavery, begun almost by chance it seemed, in that act of barter in 
the feeble little colony of Virginia, was that it was based on the claim of 
race inferiority. African negroes had, indeed, been sold into slavery among 
many nations for perhaps three thousand years ; but in its earlier periods 
slavery was rather the outcome of war than the deliberate subject of trade, and 
white captives no less than black were ruthlessly thrown into servitude. It has 
been estimated that in historical times some forty million Africans have been 
enslaved. The discovery and colonization of America gave an immense 
stimulus to the African slave trade. The .Spaniards found the Indian an intract- 
able slave, and for the arduous labors of colonization soon began to make use 
of negro slaves, importing them in great numbers and declaring that one negro 
was worth, as a human beast of burden, four Indians. Soon the English 
adventurers took up the traffic. It is to Sir John Hawkins, the ardent dis- 
coverer, that the English-speaking peoples owe their participation in the slave 
trade. He has put it on record as the result of one of his famous voyages, that 
he found "that negroes were very good merchandise in Hispaniola and might 
easily be had on the coast of Guinea." For his early adventures of this kind 
he was roundly taken to task by Queen Elizabeth. But tradition says that he 
boldly faced her with argument, and ended by convincing the Virgin Queen 
that the slave trade was not merely a lucrative but a philanthropic undertaking, 



Certain it is that she acquiesced in future slave trading, while her successors, 
Charles II and James II, chartered four slave trading companies and received 
a share in their profits. It is noteworthy that both Great Britain and the United 
States recognized the horrors of the slave trade as regards the seizing and 
transportation from Africa of the unhappy negroes, long before they could 
bring themselves to deal with the problem of slavery as a domestic institution. 
Of those horrors nothing can be said in exaggeration. They exist to-day in the 
interior of Africa, in no less terrible form than a hundred years ago ; and the year 
1 89 1 has seen the Great Powers combining in the attempt to eradicate an evil of 
enormous and growing proportions. The peculiar atrocities attending the expor- 
tation of slaves from Africa to other countries have, however, happily become a 
thing of the past. What those atrocities were even in our day may be judged 
from one of many accounts given by a no means squeamish or over sensitive sailor, 
Admiral Hobart. He thus describes the appearance of a slaver just captured by a 
British ship : "There were four hundred and sixty Africans on board, and what 
a sight it was ! The schooner had been eighty-five days at sea. They were 
short of water and provisions ; three distinct diseases — namely, small-pox, 
ophthalmia, and diarrhoea in its worst form — had broken out, while coming 
across, among the poor, doomed wretches. On opening the hold we saw a 
mass of arms, legs, and bodies, all crushed together. Many of the bodies to 
whom these limbs belonged were dead or dying. In fact, when we had made 
some sort of clearance among them we found in that fearful hold eleven bodies 
lying among the living freight. Water ! Water ! was the cry. Many of them 
as soon as free jumped into the sea, partly from the delirious state they were 
in, partly because they had been told that if taken by the JEnglish they would 
be tortured and eaten." 

The institution of slavery, introduced as we have seen into Virginia, grew 
at first very slowly. Twenty-five years after the first slaves were landed the 
negro population of the colony was only three hundred. But the conditions of 
agriculture and of climate were such, that once slavery obtained a fair start, it 
spread with continually increasing rapidity. We find the Colonial Assembly 
passing one after another a series of laws defining the condition of the negro 
slave more and more clearly, and more and more pitilessly. Thus, a distinction 
was soon made between them and Indians held in servitude. It was enacted, 
" that all servants not being Christians imported into this colony by shipping, 
shall be slaves for their lives ; but what shall come by land shall serve, if boyes 
or girles until thirty years of age, if men or women twelve years and no longer." 
And before the end of the century a long series of laws so encompassed the 
negro with limitations and prohibitions, that he almost ceased to have any 
criminal or civil rights and became a mere personal chattel. 

In some of the Northern colonies slavery seemed to take root as readily 



and to flourish as rapidly as in the South. It was only after a considerable time 
that social and commercial conditions arose which led to its gradual abandon- 
ment. In New York a mild type of negro slavery was introduced by the Dutch. 
The relation of master and slave seems in the 
period of the Dutch rule, to have been free from 
great severity or cruelty. After the seizure of the 
government by the English, however, the institution 
was officially recognized and even encouraged. 
The slave trade grew in magnitude ; and here 

agam we find a series of oppres- 
sive laws forbiddine the meet- 
ing of negroes together, laying 
down penalties for concealing 
slaves, and the like. In the 
early years of the eighteenth 
century fears of insurrection 
became prevalent, and these 
fears culminated in 1741 in the episode of the so-called Negro Plot. Very briefly 
stated, this plot grew out of a succession of fires supposed to have been the work 
of negro incendiaries. The most astonishing contradictions and self-inculpations 


are to be found in the involved mass of testimony taken at the different trials. 
It is certain that the perjury and incoherent accusations of these trials can 
only be equaled by those of the alleged witches at Salem, or of the famous 
Popish plot of Titus Oates. The result is summed up in the bare statement 
that in three months one hundred and fifty negroes were imprisoned, of 
whom fourteen were burned at the stake, eighteen, hanged, and seventy-one 
were transported. Another result was the passing of even more stringent 
legislation, curtailing the rights and defining the legal status of the slave. 
When the Revolution broke out there were not less than fifteen thousand 
slaves in New York, a number greatly in excess of that held by any other 
Northern colony. 

Massachusetts, the home in later days of so many of the most eloquent 
abolition agitators, was from the very first, until after the war with Great Britain 
was well under way, a stronghold of slavery. The records of 1633 tell of the 
fright of Indians who saw a "Blackamoor" in a tree top whom they took for 
the devil in person, but who turned out to be an escaped slave. A few years 
later the authorities of the colony officially recognized the institution. It is true 
that in 1645 the general court of Massachusetts ordered certain kidnapped 
negroes to be returned to their native country, but this was not because they 
were slaves but because their holders had stolen them away from other masters. 
Despite specious arguments to the contrary, it is certain that, to quote Chief 
Justice Parsons, "Slavery was introduced into Massachusetts soon after its first 
settlement, and was tolerated until the ratification of the present constitution in 
1780." The curious may find in ancient Boston newspapers no lack of such 
advertisements as that, in 1728, of the sale of "two very likely negro girls" 
and of " A likely negro woman of about nineteen years and a child about seven 
months of age, to be sold together or apart." A Tory writer before the out- 
break of the Revolution, sneers at the Bostonians for their talk about freedom 
when they possessed two thousand negro slaves. Even Peter Faneuil, who 
built the famous " Cradle of Liberty," was himself at that ver}^ time, actively 
eng-aeed in the slave trade. There is some truth in the once common taunt of 
the pro-slavery orators that the North imported slaves, the South only bought 
them. Certainly there was no more active centre of the slave trade than Bris- 
tol Bay, whence cargoes of rum and iron goods were sent to the African coast 
and exchanged for human cargoes. These slaves were, however, usually taken, 
not to Massachusetts, but to the West Indies or to Virginia. One curious out- 
come of slavery in Massachusetts was that from the gross superstition of a 
negro slave, Tituba, first sprang the hideous delusions of the Salem witchcraft 
trials. The negro, it may be here noted, played a not insignificant part in 
Massachusetts Revolutionary annals. Of negro blood was Crispus Attucks, 
one of the " martyrs " of the Boston riot ; it was a negro whose shot killed the 



British General Pitcairn at Bunker Hill ; and it was a negro also who planned 
the attack on Percy's supply train. 

As with New York and Massachusetts, so with the other colonies. Either 
slavery was introduced by greedy speculators from abroad or it spread easily 
from adjoin'ng colonies. In 1776 the slave population of the thirteen colonies 
was almost exactly half a million, nine-tenths of whom were to be found in the 
Southern States. In the War of the Revolution the question of arming the 
negroes raised bitter opposition. In the end a comparatively few were enrolled, 
and it is admitted that they served faithfully and with courage. Rhode Island 
even formed a regiment of blacks, and at the siege of Newport and afterwards 
at Point's Bridge, New York, this body of soldiers fought not only without reproach 
but with positive heroism. 

With the debates preceding the adoption of the present Constitution of the 
United States the political problem of slavery as a national question began. 
Under the colonial system the responsibility for the traffic might be charged, 
with some justice, to the mother country. But from the day when the Declaration 
of Independence asserted " That all men are created equal, that they are endowed 
by their Creator with certain inalienable rights ; that among these are life, liberty 
and the pursuit of happiness," the peoples of the new, self-governing States 
could not but have seen that with them lay the responsibility. There is ample 
evidence that the fixing of the popular mind on liberty as an ideal bore results 
immediately in arousing anti-slavery sentiment. Such sentiment existed in the 
South as well as in the North. Even North Carolina in 1 786 declared the slave 
trade of " evil consequences and highly impolitic." All the Northern States 
abolished slavery, beginning with Vermont, in 1777 and ending with New Jersey 
in 1804. It should be added, however, that many of the Northern slaves were 
not freed, but sold to the South. As we have already intimated, also, the 
agricultural and commercial conditions in the North were such as to make slave 


labor less and less profitable, while in the South the social order of things, 
agricultural conditions, and the climate, were gradually making it seemingly 

When the Constitutional debates began the trend of opinion seemed 
strongly against slavery. Many delegates thought that the evil would die out 
of itself One thought the abolition of slavery already rapidly going on and 
soon to be completed. Another asserted that "slavery in time will not be a 
speck in our country." Mr. Jefferson, on the other hand, in view of the retention 
of slavery, declared roundly that he trembled for his country when he remem- 
bered that God was just. And John Adams urged again and again that " every 
measure of prudence ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation 
of slavery from the United States." The obstinate States in the convention 
were South Carolina and Georgia. Their delegates declared that their States 


would absolutely refuse ratification to the Constitution unless slavery were 
recognized. The compromise sections finally agreed upon avoided the use of 
the words slave and slavery but clearly recognized the institution and even gave 
the slave States the advantage of sending representatives to Congress on a 
basis of population determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, 
"three-fifths of all other persons." The other persons thus referred to were, it 
is needless to add, negro slaves. 

The entire dealing with the question of slavery, at the framing of the Con- 
stitution, was a series of compromises. This is seen again in the postponement 
of forbidding the slave trade from abroad. Some of the Southern States had 
absolutely declined to listen to any proposition which would restrict their freedom 
of action in this matter, and they were yielded to so far that Congress was 
forbidden to make the traffic unlawful before the year 1S08. As that time ap- 
proached, President Jefferson urged Congress to withdraw the country from all 
" further participation in those violations of human rights which have so long been 
continued on the unoftending inhabitants of Africa." Such an act was at once 
adopted, and by it heavy fines were imposed on all persons fitting out vessels 
for the slave trade and also upon all actually engaged in the trade, while vessels 
so employed became absolutely forfeited. Twelve years later another act was 
passed declaring the importation of slaves to be actual piracy. This latter law, 
however, was of little practical value, as it was not until 1861 that a conviction 
was obtained under it. Then, at last, when the whole slave question was about 
to be settled forever, a ship-master was convicted and hanged for piracy in New 
York for the crime of being engaged in the slave trade. In despite of all laws, 
however, the trade in slaves was continued secretly, and the profits were so 
enormous that the risks did not prevent continual attempts to smuggle slaves 
into the territory of the United States. 

The first quarter of a century of our history, after the adoption of the Con- 
stitution, was marked by comparative quietude in regard to the future of slavery. 
In the North, as we have seen, the institution died a natural death, but there 
was no disposition evinced in the Northern States to interfere with it in the 
South. The first great battle took place in 1820 over the so-called Missouri 
Compromise. Now, for the first time, the country was divided, sectionally and 
in a strictly political way, upon issues which involved the future policy of the 
United States as to the extension or restriction of slave territory. State after 
State had been admitted into the Union, but there had been an alternation of 
slave and free States, so that the political balance was not disturbed. Thus, 
Virginia was balanced by Kentucky, Tennessee by Ohio, Louisiana by Indiana, 
and Mississippi by Illinois. The last State admitted had been Alabama, of course 
as a slaveholding State. Now it was proposed to admit Missouri, and, to still 
maintain the equality of political power, it was contended that slavery should be 


prohibited within her borders. But the slave power liad by this time acquired 
great strength, and was deeply impressed with the necessity of establishing itself 
in the vast territory west of the Mississippi. The Southern States would not 
tolerate for a moment the proposed prohibition of slavery in the new State of 
Missouri. On the other hand, the Middle and Eastern States were beginning 
to be aroused to the danger threatening public peace if slavery were to be 
allowed indefinite extension. They had believed that the Ordinance of 1787, 
adopted simultaneously with the Constitution, and which forbade slavery to be 
established in the territory northwest of the Ohio, had settled this question 
definitely. A fierce debate was waged through two sessions of Congress, and 
in the end it was agreed to withdraw the prohibition of slavery in Missouri, but 
absolutely prohibit it forever in all the territory lying north of 36° 30' latitude. 
This was a compromise, satisfactory only because it seemed to dispose of the 
question of slavery in the territories once and forever. It was carried mainly by 
the great personal influence of Henry Clay. It did, indeed, dispose of slavery 
as a matter of national legislative discussion for thirty years. 

But this interval was distinctively the period of agitation. Anti-slavery 
sentiment of a mild type had long existed. The Quakers had, since Revolu- 
tionary times held anti-slavery doctrines, had released their own servants from 
bondage, and had disfellowshiped members who refused to concur in the sacri- 
fice. The very last public act of Benjamin Franklin was the framing of a memo- 
rial to Congress deprecating the existence of slavery in a free country. In New 
York the Manumission Society had been founded in 1 785, with John Jay and 
Alexander Hamilton, in turn, as its presidents. But all the writing and speak- 
ing was directed against slavery as an institution and in a general way, and with 
no tone of aggression. Gradual emancipation or colonization were the only 
remedies suggested. It was with the founding of the "Liberator" by William 
Lloyd Garrison, in 1831, that the era of aggressive abolitionism began. Garri- 
son and his society maintained that slavery was a sin against God and man ; that 
immediate emancipation was a duty ; that .slave owners had no claim to compen- 
sation ; that all laws upholding slavery were, before God, null and void. Garri- 
son exclaimed : "I am in earnest. I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I 
will not retreat a single inch. And I will be heard." His paper bore conspicu- 
ously the motto " No union with slaveholders." The Abolitionists were, in 
numbers, a feeble band ; as a party they never acquired strength, nor were 
their tenets adopted strictly by any political party ; but they served the purpose 
of arousing the conscience of the nation. They were abused, vilified, mobbed, 
all but killed. Garrison was dragged through the streets of Boston with a rope 
around his neck — through those very streets which, in 1854, had their shops 
closed and hung in black, with flags Union down and a huge coffin suspended in 
mid-air, on the day when the fugitive slave, Anthony Burns, was marched through 



them on his way back to his master, under a guard of nearly two thousand men. 
Mr. Garrison's society soon took the ground that the union of States with 
slavery retained was "an agreement with hell and a covenant with death," and 
openly advocated secession of the non-slaveholding States. On this issue the 
Abolitionists split into two branches, and those who threw off Garrison's lead 
maintained that there was power enough under the Constitution to do away with 
slavery. To the fierce invective and constant agitation of Garrison were, in 
time, added the splendid oratory of Wendell Phillips, the economic arguments 
of Horace Greeley, the wise statesmanship of Charles Sumner, the fervid writ- 


ings of Channing and Emerson, and the noble poetry of Whittier. All these 
and others, in varied ways and from different points of view, joined in educating 
the public opinion of the North to see that the permanent existence of slavery 
was incompatible with that of a free Republic. 

In the South, meanwhile, the institution was intrenching itself more and 
more firmly. The invention of the cotton-gin and the beginning of the reign of 
Cotton as King made the great plantation system a seeming commercial neces- 
sity. From the deprecatory and half apologetic utterances of early Southern 
statesmen we come to Mr. Calhoun's declaration that slavery " now preserves 


in quiet and security more than six and a half million human beings, and that 
it could not be destroyed without destroying the peace and prosperity of nearly 
half the States in the Union." The Abolitionists were regarded in the South 
with the bitterest hatred. Attempts were even made to compel the Northern 
States to silence the anti-slavery orators, to prohibit the circulation through the 
mail of anti-slavery speeches, and to refuse a hearing in Congress to anti-slavery 
petitions. The influence of the South was still dominant in the North. Though 
the feeling against slavery spread, there co-e.xisted with it the belief that an 
open quarrel with the South meant commercial ruin ; and the anti-slavery senti- 
ment was also neutralized by the nobler feeling that the Union must be pre- 
served at all hazards, and that there was no constitutional mode of interfering 
with the slave system. The annexation of Texas was a distinct gain to the 
slave power, and the Mexican war was undertaken, .said John Ouincy Adams, in 
order that "the slaveholding power in the Government shall be secured and 

The actual condition of the neero over whom such a strife was beinor waQed 
dift'ered materially in different parts of the South, and under masters of different 
character, in the same locality. It had its side of cruelty, oppression, and 
atrocity ; it had also its side of kindness on the part of master and of devotion 
on the part of slave. Its dark side has been made familiar to readers by such 
books as " Uncle Tom's Cabin," as Dickens' " American Notes," and as Edmund 
Kirk's "Among the Pines ;" its brighter side has been charmingly depicted in 
the stories of Thomas Nelson Page, of Joel Chandler Harris, and of Harry 
Edwards. On the great cotton plantations of Mississippi and Alabama the 
slave was often overtaxed and harshly treated ; in the domestic life of Virginia, 
on the other hand, he was as a rule most kindly used, and often a relation of 
deep affection sprang up between him and his master. Of insurrections, such 
as those not uncommon in the West Indies, only one of any extent was ever 
planned in our slave territory — that of Nat Turner, in Southampton County, 
Virginia — and that was instantly suppressed. 

With this state of public feeling North and South, it was with increased 
bitterness and increased sectionalism that the subject of slavery in new States 
was again debated in the Congress of 1850. The Liberty Party, which held 
that slaverv mig-ht be abolished under the Constitution, had been merged in the 
Free Soil Party, whose cardinal principle was, "To secure free soil to a free 
people " without interfering with slavery in existing States, but insisting on its 
exclusion from territory so far free. The proposed admission of California was 
not affected by the Missouri Compromise. Its status as a future free or slave 
State was the turning point of the famous debates in the .Senate of 1850, in 
which Webster, Calhoun, Douglas and Seward won fame — debates which have 
never been equaled in our history in eloquence and acerbity. It was in the 



course of these debates that Mr. Seward, while denying that the Constitution 
recognized property in man, struck out his famous dictum, "There is a higher 
law than the Constitution." The end reached was a compromise which allowed 
California to settle for itself the question of slavery, forbade the slave trade in 
the District of Columbia, but enacted a strict fugitive slave law. To the 
Abolitionists this fugitive slave law, sustained in its most extreme measures by 
the courts in the famous — or as they called it, infamous — Dred Scott case, was 
as fuel to fire. They defied it in every possible way. The Underground Rail- 
way was the outcome of this defiance. By it a chain of secret stations was 


established, from one to the other of which the slave was guided at night until 
at last he reached the Canada border. The most used of these routes in the 
East was from Baltimore to New York, thence north throueh New England ; 
that most employed in the West was from Cincinnati to Detroit. It has 
been estimated that not fewer than thirty thousand slaves were thus assisted 
to freedom. 

Soon the struggle was changed to another part of the Western territory, 
now beginning to grow so rapidly as to demand the forming of new States. 
The Kansas-Nebraska Bill introduced by Douglas was in effect the repeal of the 


Missouri Compromise in that it left tlie question as to whether slavery should be 
carried into the new territories to the decision of the settlers themselves. As a 
consequence immigration was directed by both the anti-slavery and the pro- 
slavery parties to Kansas, each determined on obtaining a majority to control 
the form of the proposed State Constitution. Then began a series of acts of 
violence which almost amounted to civil war. " Bleeding Kansas " became a 
phrase in almost every one's mouth. Border ruffians swaggered at the polls 
and attempted to drive out the assisted emigrants sent to Kansas by the Abolition 
societies. The result of the election of the Legislature on its face made Kansas 
a slave State, but a great part of the people refused to accept this result ; and 
a convention was held at Topeka which resolved that Kansas should be free 
even if the laws formed by the Legislature should have to be "resisted to a 
bloody issue." 

Prominent among the armed supporters of free State ideas in Kansas was 
Captain John Brown, a man whose watchword was at all times Action. " Talk," 
he said, "is a national institution ; but it does no good for the slave." He 
believed that slavery could only be coped with by armed force. His theory was 
that the way to make free men of slaves was for the slaves themselves to resist 
any attempt to coerce them by their masters. He was undoubtedly a fanatic in 
that he did not stop to measure probabilities or to take account of the written 
law. His attempt at Harper's Ferry was without reasonable hope, and as the 
intended beginning of a great military movement was a ridiculous fiasco. But 
there was that about the man that none could call ridiculous. Rash and 
unreasoning as his action seemed, he was yet, even by his enemies, recognized 
as a man of unswerving conscience, of high ideals, of deep belief in the brother- 
hood of mankind. His offense against law and peace was cheerfully paid for 
by his death and that of others near and dear to him. Almost no one at that 
day could be found to applaud his plot, but the incident had an effect on 
the minds of the people altogether out of proportion to its intrinsic character. 
More and more as time went on he became recognized as a pro-martyr of 
a cause which could be achieved only by the most complete self-sacrifice of 

Events of vast importance to the future of the negro in America now 
hurried fast upon each other's footsteps — the final settlement of the Kansas 
dispute by its becoming a free State ; the forming and rapid growth of the 
Republican party ; the division of the Democratic party into Northern and 
Southern factions ; the election of Abraham Lincoln ; the secession of South 
Carolina, and, finally, the greatest civil war the world has known. Though that 
war would never have been waged were it not for the negro, and though his fate 
was inevitably involved in its result, it must be remembered that it was not 
undertaken on his account. Before the struggle began Mr. Lincoln said : " If 



there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same 
time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not 
save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not 
agree with them. My paramount object is to save the Union, and not either to 
destroy or to save slavery." And the Northern press emphasized over and over 
again the fact that this was "a white man's war." But the logic of events is 
inexorable. It seems amazing now that Union generals should have been 
puzzled as to the question whether they ought in duty to return runaway slaves 
to their masters. General Butler settled the controversy by one happy phrase 
when he called the fugitives " contraband of war." Soon it was deemed righl 


to use these contrabands, to employ the new-coined word, as the South was 
using the negroes still in bondage, to aid in the non-fighting work of the army 
— on fortification, team driving, cooking, and so on. From this it was but a 
step, though a step not taken without much perturbation, to employ them 
as soldiers. At Vicksburg, at Fort Pillow, and in many another battle, the 
negro showed beyond dispute that he could fight for his liberty. No fiercer 
or braver charge was made in the war than that upon the parapet of 
Fort Wagner by Colonel Shaw's gallant colored regiment, the Massachusetts 

In a thousand ways the negro figures in the history of the war. In its 


literature he everywhere stands out picturesquely. He sought the flag with the 
greatest avidity for freedom ; flocking in crowds, old men and young, women 
and children, sometimes with quaint odds and ends of personal belongings, 
often empty-handed, always enthusiastic and hopeful, almost always densely 
ignorant of the meaning of freedom and of self-support. But while the negro 
showed this avidity for liberty, his conduct toward his old masters was often 
generous, and almost never did he seize the opportunity to inflict vengeance for 
his past wrongs. The eloquent Southern orator and writer, Henry W. Grady, 
said : " History has no parallel to the faith kept by the negro in the South during 
the war. Often five hundred negroes to a single white man, and yet through 
these dusky throngs the women and children walked in safety and the 
unprotected homes rested in peace. . . A thousand torches would have 
disbanded every Southern army, but not one was lighted." 

It was with conditions, and only after great hesitation, that the final step of 
emancipating the slaves was taken by President Lincoln in September, 1862. 
The proclamation was distinctly a war measure, but its reception by the North 
and by the foreign powers and its immediate effect upon the contest were such 
that its expediency was at once recognized. Thereafter there was possible no 
question as to the personal freedom of the negro in the United States of 
America. With the Confederacy, slavery went down once and forever. In the 
so-called reconstruction period which followed, the negro suffered almost as 
much from the over-zeal of his political friends as from the prejudice of his old 
masters. A negro writer, who is a historian of his race, has declared that the 
Government gave the negro the statute book when he should have had the 
spelling book ; that it placed him in the legislature when he ought to have been 
in the school house, and that, so to speak, "the heels were put where the brains 
ought to have been." A quarter of a century and more has passed since that 
turbulent period began, and if the negro has become less prominent as a political 
factor, all the more for that reason has he been advancing steadily though slowly 
in the requisites of citizenship. He has learned that he must, by force of 
circumstances, turn his attention, for the time at least, rather to educational, in- 
dustrial, and material progress than to political ambition. And the record of 
his advance on these lines is promising and hopeful. In Mississippi alone, for 
instance, the negroes own one-fifth of the entire property in the State. In all, 
the negroes of the South to-day possess two hundred and fifty million dollars' 
worth of property. Everywhere throughout the South white men and negroes 
may be found working together. 

At the beginning of the war the negro population of the country was about 
four millions, to-day it is between seven and seven and a-half millions ; in 1880, 
fifteen-sixteenths of the whole colored population belonged to the Southern 
States, and the census of 1 890 shows that the proportion has not greatly changed. 


This ratio in itself shows how absurdly trifling in results have been all the move- 
ments toward colonization or emigration to Northern States. The neero 
emphatically belongs to the Southern States, and in them and by them his future 
must be determined. Another point decided conclusively by the census of 1890 
is seen in the refutation of an idea based, indeed, on the census of 1880, but 
due in its origin to the very faulty census of 1870. This idea was that the 
colored population had increased much more rapidly in proportion than the 
white population. The new census shows, on the contrary, that the whites in 
the Southern States increased during the last decade nearly twice as rapidly as 
the negroes, or, as the census bulletin puts it, in increase of population, "the 
colored race has not held its own against the white man in a region where the 
climate and conditions are, of all those which the country affords, the best suited 
to its development." 

The promise of the negro race to-day is not so much in the development 
of men of exceptional talent, such as Frederick Douglas or Senator Bruce, as 
in the general spread of intelligence and knowledge. The Southern States have 
very generally given the negro equal educational opportunities with the whites, 
while the eagerness of the race to learn is shown in the recently ascertained 
fact that while the colored population has increased only twenty-seven per cent. 
the enrollment in the colored schools has increased one hundred and thirty-seven 
per cent. Fifty industrial schools are crowded by the colored youth of the 
South. Institutions of higher education, like the Atlanta University, and 
Hampton Institute of Virginia, and Tuskegee College, are doing admirable work 
in turning out hundreds of negroes fitted to educate their own race. Within a 
year or two honors and scholarships have been taken by half a dozen colored 
young men at Harvard, at Cornell, at Phillips Academy and at other Northern 
schools and colleges of the highest rank. The fact that a young negro, Mr. 
Morgan, was in 1890 elected by his classmates at Harvard as the class orator 
has a special significance. Yet there is greater significance, as a negro news- 
paper man writes, in the fact that the equatorial telescope now used by the 
Lawrence University of Wisconsin was made entirely by colored pupils in the 
School of Mechanical Arts of Nashville, Tenn. In other words, the Afro- 
American is finding his place as an intelligent worker, a property owner, and 
an independent citizen, rather than as an agitator, a poUtician or a race advocate. 
In religion, superstition and effusive sentiment are giving way to stricter morality. 
In educational matters, ambition for the high-sounding and the abstract is giving 
place to practical and industrial acquirements. It will be many years before 
the character of the negro, for centuries dwarfed and distorted by oppression 
and ignorance, reaches its normal growth, but that the race is now at last upon 
the right path and is being guided by the true principles cannot be doubted. 



Says one who has made an exceedingly thorough personal study of the subject 
in all the Southern States : " The evolution in the condition has kept pace with 
that of any other races, and I think has been even a little better. The same 
forces of evolution that have brought him to where he is now will bring him 
further. One thing is indisputable : the negro knows his destiny is in his own 
hands. He finds that his salvation is not through politics, but through indus- 
trial methods. 



the; story ok the civil war. 


"'•JMlilhi " ''*' IT would be a mistake to suppose 

that secession sentiments originated 
and were exclusively maintained in 
the Southern States. Ideas of State 
sovereignty and of the consequent 
right of a State to withdraw from the 
Union, or at least to resist the acts 
and laws of Congress on adequate 
occasion, were held by many states- 
men in the North as well as in the 
South. Thus the " Essex Junto," 
which had openly advocated a dis- 
solution of the Union and the for- 
mation of an Eastern Confederacy, 
were foremost in assembling a con- 
vention of the Federalists on De- 
cember 15, 1814, at Hartford, Con- 
necticut, at which resolutions were passed recommending the State Legislatures 
to resist Congress in conscripting soldiers for carrying on the war then being 
waged against England. Threats of disunion were again heard in 182 1, but 
this time from the South, in case Missouri should be denied admission to the 
Union on account of her unwillingness to surrender the institution of slavery. 
Once more, in 1832, a South Carolina convention proceeded to declare the 
tariff of the United States null and void within her own borders ; but, owing to 
the decisive action of President Jackson, the State authorities did not venture 
into an actual collision with Concfress. 

But the asfitation in favor of disunion reached culmination under the 
aggressive efforts by the South to extend slavery into new Territories, and 
the determination by the North to confine it strictly within the States where it 
already existed. With the formation of anti-slavery societies in the North, the 




nomination of anti-slavery candidates for the Presidency from 1840 onward, the 
passage of the "Wilmot Proviso" in 1846, the repeal of the Missouri compromise 
in 1854, the Dred-Scott decision by the United States Supreme Court in 1857, the 
adoption of the Lecompton Constitution in Kansas in 1859, and the raid by John 
Brown at Harper's Ferry in 1859, it became painfully evident that Mr. Seward's 
prediction of an "irrepressible conflict" between the North and South on the 
subject of slavery was becoming, had already become, a reality. 

As to John Brown's raid we have only to recount that on the i6th of Octo- 
ber, 1859, he took an armed force to Harper's Ferry, capturing the arsenal and 
armory and killing the men on guard. He was then endeavoring to secure 
arms for operating against the South. He was, however, captured and executed 
December 2, 1859. The expedition, it is unnecessary to say, was foolhardy 
and wholly without justification, and Brown paid for his misguided zeal with 
his life. But it must be said of him that he was conscientious, and that by 
his reckless daring he helped to crystallize sentiment on both sides of the 
slavery question. 

The election in i860 of Abraham Lincoln as President, on the platform of 
resistance to all further extension of slavery, was the signal for the previous 
disunion oratory and menaces to crystallize themselves into action. Seven 
States, in the following order, viz. : South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, 
Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas, seceded, and by a Congress held at 
Montgomery, Ala., February 4, 1861, formed a Confederacy with Jefferson Davis, 
of Mississippi, as President, and Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, as Vice- 

The reasons avowed for this perilous course were, "the refusal of fifteen 
of the States for years past to fulfill their constitutional obligations, and the 
election of a man to the high office of President of the United States whose 
opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery." 

After Mr. Lincoln's inauguration on March 4, 1861, the Confederacy was 
increased by the addition of Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee ; 
Kentucky and Missouri, being divided in opinion, had representatives and armies 
in both sections. 

The eleven "Confederate States of America" took from the Union nearly, 
one-half of its inhabited area, and a population of between five and six millions 
of whites and about four millions of slaves. Their entire force capable of 
active service numbered 600,000 men. The twenty-four States remaining loyal 
to the Union had a population of 20,000,000, and the army at the close of the 
war numbered 1,050,000 ; but as the majority of these were scattered on guard 
duty over a vast region, only 262,000 were in fighting activity. Whilst the North 
was more rich and powerful, it was, nevertheless, more inclined to peace. The 
South was of a military spirit, accustomed to weapons, and altogether eager for 




the fray. The soldiers of both sides were 
equally brave, resolute, heroic, and devoted 
to what they respectively deemed a patriotic 

The Confederates had the advantag-e in 
the outset, because Mr. Floyd, the Secretary 
of War under President Buchanan, 
had dispersed the regular army, com- 
prising 16,402 officers and men, to 
distant parts of the country where 
they were not available, and had sent 
off the vessels of the navy to foreign 

Many of the old army offi- 
cers had passed over to the 
ate service, and vast quantities 
pons and ammunition had been 
ed from Northern to 
arsenals now in pos- 
the seceded States, 
the army at Indian- 
been surrendered on 


o f w e a - 
session of 
A part of 
ola had 
February 18, 1861, 
by General Twiggs, 
to the Confederates, 
and other soldiers 
Wq' guardmg our Mexi- 
can and Indian fron- 
tiers were captured, 
besides several na- 
tional vessels and fortresses. 
The South was, in short, 
much better prepared for the 
great conflict, and during the 
first year the preponderance 
of success was in its favor. 

The Confederates 
opened the war on April 12, 
1 861, by bombarding Fort 
Sumter, which had been 
occupied by Major Robert 
Anderson and a company 
of eighty men. This fort, 


although fiercely pounded by cannon balls and shells and set on fire several 
times, was gallantly held for two days, when it was obliged to surrender ; 
but its brave defenders were allowed to march out saluting the old flag, 
and to depart for the North without being regarded as prisoners of war. 
The attack on Sumter created the wildest excitement throughout the entire 
land, and it opened the eyes of the North to the amazing fact of a civil war. 
A wave of patriotism, as mighty as it was sudden, swept over the United 
States. President Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 volunteers for three months, 
and soon after another call for 64,000 men for the army and 18,000 for 
the navy, to serve during the war. The need for these calls was urgent 
enough. On April 20th the Confederates easily captured the great Norfolk 
Navy Yard, with three or four national vessels, including the frigate " Merri- 
mac," which subsequently wrought such fearful havoc at Hampton Roads, 
2000 cannon, besides small arms, munitions, and stores of immense value, all 
of which were given up without a shot in defense. The arsenal at Harper's 
Ferry, with millions of dollars' worth of arms and ammunition, was also in their 
possession ; and before the end of April 35,000 of their soldiers were already 
in the field, whilst 10,000 of these were rapidly marching northward. General 
R. E. Lee had been appointed Commander-in-chief of the army and navy of 
Virginia, and the 6th Regiment of Massachusetts militia had been savagely 
mobbed in the streets of Baltimore whilst going to the protection of Washington. 

A Unionist attack on the Confederates at Big Bethel, Va., was repulsed, 
but the Confederates were driven out of Western Virginia by General G. B. 
McClellan. Then came, on July 21, the engagement at Bull Run, known also as 
that of Manassas Junction, one of the most significant battles of the war. 
General Irwin McDowell, acting under instructions of General Scott, marched 
against the Confederate army under General Beauregard, and in the outset met 
with encouraging success ; but just as the Unionists imagined the victory theirs 
they were vigorously pressed by reinforcements that had come hurriedly up 
from Winchester under the leadership of General Johnston ; and being ex- 
hausted from twelve hours of marching and fighting under a sultry sun, they 
began a retreat which was soon turned into a panic, attended with wild disorder 
and demoralization. Had the Confederates, among whom at the close of the 
day was President Davis himself only known the extent of their triumph, they 
might have followed it and possibly have seized Washington. About 30,000 
men fought on each side. The Confederate loss was 378 killed, 1489 wounded, 
and 30 missing. The Unionists lost 481 killed, loii wounded, and 1460 
missing, with 20 cannon and large quantities of small arms. 

From this moment it was understood that the struggle would be terrible, 
and that it might be long, not to say doubtful. Congress, then in extra session, 
authorized the enlistment of 500,000 men and the raising of ^500,000,000. 



Many of the States displayed intense patriotism, New York and Pennsylvania, 
for example, appropriating each ;^3, 000,000, whilst Massachusetts and other New 
England States sent regiments fully equipped into the field. General McClellan 
was summoned to reorganize and discipline the multitudes of raw recruits that 
were thrown suddenly on his hands. His ability and thoroughness were of 
immense value in preparing them for their subsequent effective service, and he 
was soon after made Commander-in-chief in place of General Scott, retired. 
The South was also laboring with tremendous zeal and energy in the endeavor 
to enlist 400,000 men. 


Early in August the death of General Nathaniel Lyon whilst attacking the 
Confederate General Ben. McCulloch at Wilson's Creek, and the retreat of his 
army, threw all Southern Missouri into the hands of the enemy. A few days 
after, General Butler took Forts Hatteras and Clark, with 700 prisoners, 1000 
muskets, and other stores. But victories alternated, for now General Sterling 
Price surrounded and captured the Unionist Colonel Mulligan and his Irish 
brigade of 2780, at Lexington, Mo. Worse, however, than this was the near 
annihilation, October 21st, of a Unionist force of 1 700 under General C. P. Stone 
and Colonel E. D. Baker at Ball's Bluff. The noble Baker and 300 of the men 



were slain and over 500 taken prisoners. Ten days later Commodore S. F. 
Dupont, aided by General T. W. Sherman with 10,000 men, reduced the 
Confederate forts on Hilton Head and Phillips' Island and seized the adjacent 
Sea Islands. General Fremont, unable to find and engage the Confederate 
General Price in the West, was relieved of his command of 30,000 men ; but 
General U. S. Grant, by capturing the Confederate camp at Belmont, Mo., 
checked the advance of General Jeff. Thompson. On the next day, November 
8th, occurred a memorable event which imperiled the peaceful relations between 


the United States and Great Britain. Captain Wilkes of the United States 
frigate, "San Jacinto," compelled the British mail steamer, "Trent," to give up two 
of her passengers, the Confederate Commissioners, Mason and Slidell, who were 
on their way respectively to England and France in the interest of the South. 
A foreign war might have resulted had not Mr. William H. Seward, the astute 
Secretary of State, promptly disavowed the act and returned the Commissioners 
to English keeping. General E. O. C. Ord, commanding the Third Pennsylvania 
Brigade, gained a victory on December 20th at Dranesville over the Confederate 


brigade of General J. E. B. Stuart, who lost 230 soldiers, and during the same 
month General Pope reported the capture of 2500 prisoners in Central Missouri, 
with the loss of only 100 men ; but 1000 of these were taken by Colonel Jeff C. 
Davis by surprising the Confederate camp at Milford. 

The year 1862 was marked by a series of bloody encounters. It opened 
with a Union army of 450,000 against a Confederate army of 350,000. The 
fighting began at Mill Spring, in Southern Kentucky, on January 19th, with an 
assault by the Confederates led by General F. K. ZoUicoffer, acting under 
General G. B. Crittenden. They were routed by General George H. Thomas, 
ZoUicoffer being killed and Crittenden flying across the Cumberland River, 
leaving ten guns and 1500 horses. This victory stirred the heart of the nation, 
and brought at once into brilliant prominence the great soldier and noble 
character whose greatnes blazed out like a sun at the close of the war. 

Another blow was soon struck. Brigadier General Grant, with 15,000 
troops, supported by Commodore A. H. Foote with seven gunboats, reduced Fort 
Henry on the Tennessee River and took its commander, General L. Tilghman, 
prisoner, but could not prevent the greater portion of the garrison from 
escaping to Fort Donelson, twelve miles to the east. This stronghold, com- 
manding the navigation of the Cumberland River and containing 15,000 
defenders under General J. B. Floyd, was regarded as impregnable. It fell, 
however, on February i6th, under a combined attack of Grant and Foote, 
surrendering 12,000 men and 40 cannon. Generals Floyd and Buckner, with a 
few of their command, managed to escape across the river by night, and General 
N. B. Forrest, with 800 cavalry, also got away. This splendid achievement 
threw Nashville and all Northern Tennessee into possession of the Unionists, 
and caused the immediate evacuation of the Confederate camp at Bowling 
Green, Kentucky. 

In the East, about the same time, General Burnside and Commodore 
Goldsborough, with 11,500 men on 31 steamboats, captured, with a loss of 300, 
Roanoke Island, N. C, and 2500 Confederates. On March 14th they carried 
New Bern by assault, losing 600 but taking 2 steamboats, 69 cannon, and 500 
prisoners ; and next they seized Fort Macon, with its garrison of 500 and stores. 
But the Unionist Generals Reno and Foster were repulsed, respectively, at 
South Mills and Goldsborough. One of the most notable of naval engagements 
took place on March 8th and 9th, when the Confederate ironclad, " Virginia," 
known better by her original name, the " Merrimac," steamed out from Norfolk 
attended by two gunboats. She plunged her iron ram into the Union frigate, 
"Cumberland," causing her to sink and to carry down part of her crew; she 
blew up the " Congress," another Union frigate, destroying more than half of her 
crew of 434, drove the frigate "Lawrence" under the guns of Fortress Monroe, 
and bombarded until dusk with terrific energy, aided also by her gunboats, the 



Union steam frigate " Minnesota," which had got aground. She seemed 
destined on the next day to work immeasurable and unimpeded havoc. But, 
providentially, during the night the Union "Monitor," looking like "a cheese 
box on a raft," which had been built by Captain Ericsson and was commanded 
with consummate skill by Lieutenant J. L. Worden, steamed into the roadstead 
on her trial trip from New York. When, therefore, the " Merrimac " approached 
for new conquests the following morning her surprise was tremendous upon 
meeting such a strange craft. An unwonted and dramatic naval duel now 


occurred, from which the Confederate ram retired badly crippled and was soon 
afterward blown up to prevent her being captured. The " Monitor " was, 
unfortunately, lost some months afterward, in a storm off Hatteras. 

The smoke had not vanished from Hampton Roads before news came of 
an assault at Pea Ridge by from 16,000 to 18,000 Confederates, including 5000 
Indians, under General E. Van Dorn, on 10,500 Unionists under General S. R. 
Curtis, supported by Generals Asboth and Sigel. After three days of severe 
fighting, in which 1351 Unionists fell, the Confederates fled with precipitation, 


leaving- Generals B. McCulloch and Mcintosh dead and having Generals Price 
and Slack among their wounded. 

General McClellan having raised his 200,000 or more men to a high degree 
of efficiency, transferred considerably more than half of them to Fortress Monroe 
for the purpose of advancing on Richmond by way of the peninsula between the 
York and James Rivers. He left General Banks with 7000 soldiers to guard 
the Virginia Valley. This force, at that time under the command of General James 
Shields, because Banks had gone temporarily to Washington, was fiercely assailed 
at Kernstown by "Stonewall" Jackson at the head of 4000 men. Jackson 
was repulsed with a loss of 1000, whilst Shields lost 600. McClellan's advance 
was checked for a month by Confederate batteries at Warwick Creek and again 
at Williamsburg by General Magruder's works. Here General Hooker's division 
fought well for nine hours with heavy losses. Magruder, flanked' by Hancock, 
whose two brigades fought bravely, was obliged to retreat, leaving 700 of his 
wounded. The Unionists lost altogether 2228, whilst the Confederates lost not 
quite so many. 

In the meantime, on April 6th, General Grant, with an army of 40,000, was 
surprised at Pittsburg Landing by 50,000 Confederates under General A. S. 
Johnson. General Grant, instead of being with his troops, was on a boat near 
Savannah, seven miles below. The Union forces were completely surprised. 
No intrenchments or earthworks of any kind had been erected — there were no 
abattis. The Union forces, surprised, were rapidly driven back with heavy loss in 
guns, killed, wounded, and prisoners, from Shiloh Church to the bluffs of the 
Tennessee, under which thousands of demoralized men took refuge. General 
Albert S. Johnson had been killed in the midst of the battle and General 
Beauregard succeeded to the command. Had General Johnson been alive the 
result might have been different ; but Beauregard was in command, and he 
missed the one opportunity of his life in resting on his arms when he should 
have pressed the enemy to the river and forced a surrender. But relief was at 
hand, and under a leader who was a master general on the field. Sunday 
night General Don Carlos Buell arrived on the scene with a part of the Army 
of the Ohio. Moving- General Nelson's division across the Tennessee in boats, 
he had them in position by seven o'clock in the evening, ready for the onset 
in the morning. Two more divisions were crossed early in the morning. At 
seven o'clock the attack was begun, General Buell leading his troops in 
person and General Grant advancing with his troops, yesterday overwhelmed 
by defeat, to-day hopeful and confident. The result is well known. Buell's 
fresh troops, handled in a masterly manner, were irresistible. By four o'clock 
the enemy lost all they had gained and were in full retreat, and the day 
was won. General Buell receiving unstinted praise for his victory. The 
Union loss was 1735 killed, 7882 wounded, and 3956 missing; total, 13,573. 



The Confederates' loss was 1728 killed, 8012 wounded, 957 missing; total, 

About the same date General Pope and Commodore Foote captured Island 
No. 10, with 6700 Confederates under Brigadier General Makall ; and soon after 
Memphis surrendered to the Unionists, and on April nth Fort Pulaski fell 
before a bombardment by General Q. A. Gilmore. This same month was notable 
for naval victories. Admiral Farragut with a fleet of forty-seven armed vessels 
and 310 guns stormed the Confederate Forts St. Philip and Jackson, destroyed 
various fire-rafts and gunboats, and after a series of brilliant actions compelled 
the Confederate General Lovell with 3000 defenders to withdraw from New 
Orleans, leaving it to be occupied by 15,000 Unionists under General Butler. 
In the words of another, this "was a contest between iron hearts in wooden 
vessels, and iron clads with iron beaks, and the iron hearts prevailed." 

McClellan's army — a part of which had been thrown across the Chicka- 
hominy — was savagely attacked on May 28th, at Fair Oaks, by General Joseph 
E. Johnston, now Commander-in-chief of the Confederate forces. Although 
Johnston was badly wounded and his troops after a day of hard fighting were 
obliged to retire, yet the Union loss was 5739, including five colonels killed and 
seven generals wounded. McClellan was now reinforced until he had altogether 
556,828 men, of whom 1 15,162 were in good condition for'effective service. Noth- 
ing, however, was accomplished until General Lee, who had succeeded the dis- 
abled Johnston, forced the fighting on June 26th that led to six horrible battles on 
as many successive days, known as those of Oak Grove, Mechanicsville, Gaines's 
Mills, Savage Station, White Oak Swamp, and Malvern Hill. In the last one 
the Confederates were signally defeated by McClellan with a loss of 10,000, 
while the Union loss was about 5000. During those six battles the Union loss 
was 1582 killed, 7709 wounded, and 5958 missing, making a total of 15,249. 
The Confederate loss was perhaps double ; General Griffith and three colonels 
killed. Nevertheless, McClellan's campaign was unsuccessful ; Richmond was 
not taken ; and by order of the President he retreated to the Potomac. 

General Halleck now became Commander-in-chief and a vigorous campaign 
was opened by the Unionist General .Pope. He was met in several stubbornly 
fought actions by the Confederates under Generals Lee, Jackson, and Long- 
street, and was badly routed. * In this bloody affair, known as the second battle 
of Bull Run, the Unionists lost 25,000, including 9000 prisoners ; the Con- 

* In accounting for his defeat General Pope attempted to fix the blame upon General Fitz John 
Porter, a very able and successful commander, charging that he failed to support him, and a court- 
martial convened in the heat of the discussion cashiered the General. But later, in deference to public 
opinion, the case was reopened, the previous unjust verdict was set aside, and General Porter's good 
name was cleared, his conduct being fully justified — an acquittal in entire accord with the riper 
second thought of public opinion. 



federates lost 15,000. General Lee, on September 8th, invaded Maryland, 
where at South Mountain he was worsted by McClellan, who lost heavily of his 
own men, but took 1500 prisoners. 

A few days later Harper's Ferry, with 11,583 Unionists, 73 guns, and 
immense quantities of war munitions, was surrendered to Stonewall Jackson. 
McClellan, with 
80,000 men at- 
tacked Lee, posted 
with 70,000 on a 
ridge facing Antie- 
tam Creek. This 
determined battle 
ended in Lee's de- 
feat and retreat. 
McClellan lost 
2010 men killed, 
9416 wounded, and 
1043 rnissing ; a 
total of 12,469. Lee 
lost 1842 killed, 
9399 wounded, and 
2292 missing; to- 
tal, 13,533- This 
is regarded as the 
bloodiest day in the 
history of America. 
There is little 
doubt that had Mc- 
Clellan followed 
up his magnificent 
victory he could 
have entered Rich- 
mond. Here was 
his mistake ; but 
this did not justify 
the Government in 

retiring him as it did. Surely McClellan's great victory entided him to the 
further command ; but the opposition, especially that of Secretary Stanton, was 
too powerful, and he was retired. 

General Burnside, having succeeded McClellan, assailed Lee at Fredericks- 
burg, December 13th, but was disastrously beaten. His loss was 1152 killed, 



9101 wounded, 3234 missing ; total, 13,771. The Confederate loss was about 
5000. General Burnside was relieved in favor of General Hooker in January, 
1863, who — having received reinforcements until his army amounted to 100,000 
infantry, 13,000 cavalry, and 10,000 artillery — assumed the offensive against Lee 
on May 2d, 1863, at Chancellorsville, but was terribly defeated. He lost 17,197 
men. His defeat was due to a brilliant rear and flank movement executed by 
Stonewall Jackson, who thus demolished the Eleventh Corps but was himself 
slain. Jackson's death might well be regarded as an irreparable disaster to the 
Confederate cause. 

Lee, with nearly 100,000 men, again marched northward, taking 400a 
prisoners at Winchester. He was overtaken, July ist, by the Union army, 
numbering 100,000, now under the command of General George G. Meade, at 
Gettysburg ; where a gallant and bloody battle was fought, lasting three days 
and ending in a great victory for the LInionists. One of the features of the 
battle was a gallant charge of Pickett's Confederate Brigade, when they faced a 
battery of 100 guns and were nearly annihilated. But it was all American 
braver)^ They lost 2834 killed, 13,709 wounded, 6643 missing; total, 23,186. 
The total Confederate loss was 36,000. Had Meade known the extent of his 
triumph he might have followed and destroyed the retreating Lee, whose army 
in this campaign dwindled from 100,000 to 40,000. 

On the same memorable day, July 3d, Vicksburg, after having resisted 
many and determined assaults, and after finding its defenders on the south 
surprised and beaten in detail by Grant's army aided by Commodore Porter's 
naval operations, surrendered, closing a campaign in which Grant had taken 
37,000 prisoners, with arms and munitions for 60,000 men. His own loss was 
943 killed, 7095 wounded, and 537 missing; a total of 8515. These two 
notable victories were the turning points in the war. 

Meantime, in the West the war had been pursued during the year with 
varying fortunes. The Confederate General Forrest had captured 1500 men 
at Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Kirby Smith had captured 5000 Unionists at Richmond, 
Ky. ; General Bragg had captured 4000 prisoners at Mumfordsville, Tenn. ; 
Generals McCook and Rousseau, having attacked the enemy without the orders 
of General Buell, and thinking, as General Buell said, to win a victory without 
his assistance, were defeated by General Bragg at Perryville, whose loss was 
2300 : our loss was 4340. General Rosecrans, with a loss of 782, whipped the 
Confederate General Price, at luka. Miss., whose loss was 1000 men. Rose- 
crans repulsed again the Confederates on September 17th at Corinth, inflicting 
a loss of 1423 killed and taking 2248 prisoners. His own loss was 2359 men. 
A brigade of 2000 Unionists was captured by John Morgan. A campaign of 
46,910 men under Rosecrans culminated in the battle of Stone River, January 
2d, 1863, against Bragg, who was beaten and forced to retreat. The Unionist 


losses were 1533 killed, 7245 wounded, 2800 missing; a total of 11,578. 
Bragg's loss was 9000 killed and wounded and over 1000 missing. The Con- 
federate Van Dorn surprised and took prisoners 2000 men at Holly Springs, 
and at the same time took ^4,000,000 worth of stores. General Sherman was 
repulsed at Chickasaw Bayou with a loss of 2000 men ; but General J. A. Mc- 
Clernand reduced Fort Hindman, capturing 5000 prisoners and 17 guns, while 
his loss was only 977. Colonel Grierson made a famous raid with 1700 cavalry 
to Baton Rouge, cutting Confederate communications and taking 500 prisoners. 
At Milliken's Bend the Unionist General Dennis, having 1400, repelled an 
attack of the Confederate General H. McCulloch, the loss on either side being 
500. At Helena, Arkansas, the Unionist General B. M. Prentiss, with 4000, 
also repulsed General Holmes with 3646, of whom 1636 were lost. The Con- 
federate raider, Morgan, with a mounted force of 4000 men, invaded Ohio, 
July 7th, but was caught by gunboats and obliged to surrender. 

General Burnside, early in September, at Cumberland Gap, captured General 
Frazier with fourteen guns and 2000 men. Then came, on September 19th, the 
great battle of Chickamauga, between Rosecrans and Thomas with 55,000 men 
on one side, and Bragg and Longstreet with about the same number on the other 
side. Longstreet annihilated Rosecrans' right wing ; but Thomas by his firmness 
and skill saved the day. The Confederates lost 18,000, while the Union loss was 
1644 killed, 9262 wounded, 4945 missing ; total, 15,581. Our army fell back on 
Chattanooga. Longstreet's attempt, Nov. 28th, to dislodge Burnside from Knox- 
ville resulted in his own loss of 800 and retreat. The Unionists lost 100 men. 

On September 2 2d to 24th the forces of General George H. Thomas, rein- 
forced by General Sherman, under the command of Grant, assaulted Bragg's 
army on Mission Ridge, facing Chattanooga. General Sherman crossed the 
Tennessee to attempt a flank movement but was repulsed. General Hooker 
moved up Lookout Mountain and drove the Confederates before him, capturing 
men and guns. Then General G. H. Thomas, in accordance with his original 
plan of battle, moved his army by the front directly up the heights of Mission 
Ridge, assailing the enemy in the very teeth of his batteries. The fight was 
desperate, but Thomas's forces won, driving the enemy, making many prisoners 
and capturing many guns. The Union losses were 757 killed, 4529 wounded, 
330 missing ; total, 5616. There were 6142 prisoners captured from the enemy. 

During this time Charleston, which had inaugurated the Rebellion, pluckily 
resisted all attempts to take it. For example, her defenders beat back 6000 
Unionists with a loss of 574 men at Secessionville June i6th. Again, they dis- 
abled two of the blockading gunboats on January ist, 1863 ; again, they forced 
nine bombarding iron-clads under Commodore Dupont to retire ; again, they 
repulsed from Fort Wagner a storming party under General Gilmore, inflicting 
a loss of 1500, while their loss was but 100 men ; again, while obliged to evacuate 



Fort Wagner, leaving 18 guns there, and 
seven guns in Battery Gregg, they re- 
pulsed the Unionists' attempt to scale 
Fort Sumter and slew 200 men. 

Nor did the Unionists fare better 
in Florida. They lost under 
General T. Seymour 2000 of 
his 6000 troops at Olustee, 
where the Confederates lost 

but 730 men. 
again lost 
1600 out of 
2000 men 
under Gen. " 

The Unionists 


Wessels at 
North Caro- 
lina, when 
the Confed- 
erate General Hoke's loss 
was but 300 men. 

In the Southwest, 
however, the Unionists* 
cause had gained con- 
siderable advantages un- 
der General Banks, having 
a command of 30,000 men. 
Aided by Commodore 
Farragut, at Alexandria, 
La., he drove General R. 
Taylor and captured 2000 
prisoners, several steam- 
boats, and 22 guns. His 
assault, however, on Port 
Hudson, in June, was re- 
pelled with a loss of 2000 


men, while the Confederates lost but 300 men. But Port Hudson, as it was about 
to be cannonaded by the gunboats set free by the fall of Vicksburg, was surren- 
dered, July 6th, by the Confederate General Gardener, with his garrison of 6408 
men. Banks' effective force had been reduced to 10,000. His total captures 
during the campaign were 10,584 men, •J2> guns, and 6000 small arms. But 
Brashear City had some days before been surprised and captured by General R. 
Taylor (Confederate) with a Union loss of 1000 men and 10 guns. The Unionist 
General Dudley lost near Donaldsonville 300 prisoners, and again, the Unionist 
General Franklin with a fleet and 4000 men was repelled with a loss of two gun- 
boats, 15 guns, and 250 men, by less than that number within the fort at Sabine 
Pass, and at Teche Bayou the 67th Indiana Regiment was captured entire. 

The Red River expeditions in March and April, 1864, toward Shreveport 
under General Banks, from New Orleans, with a force of 40,000, and under 
General Steel, from Little Rock, with 12,000, were disastrous failures. The 
former had to retreat with a loss of about 5000, and the latter was also beaten 
back with a loss of 2200; but at Jenkins Ferry he repulsed the Confederate 
attack led by General Kirby Smith, with a loss of 2300. In August of this year 
(1864) Commodore Farragut executed one of the fiercest and most heroic 
naval combats on record. Having lashed himself to the mast of the Hartford, he 
advanced with a fleet of 14 wooden steamers and gunboats and four iron-clad 
monitors against Forts Morgan and Gaines, at the entrance of Mobile Bay. 
He ran the bows of his wooden vessels full speed against the rebel iron-clad 
Tennessee, gaining a notable victory, which ended in the fall of the forts and 
the city of Mobile. 

General Grant was appointed Commander-in-chief of all the Union armies 
on March i, 1864. Having sent Sherman to conduct a campaign in the West, he 
himself on May 4 and 5, crossed the Rapidan for a direct southerly advance to 
Richmond. A campaign of 43 days followed, in which more than 100,000 men, 
frequently reinforced, were engaged on either side. He was met by Lee in the 
Wilderness, where, after two days of terrible slaughter, the battle ended without 
decided advantage to either side. Among the Unionists, General J. S. Wads- 
worth was killed and seven eenerals were wounded, the entire loss amount- 
ing to 20,000 men. The Confederates lost 8000 men, with Longstreet badly 

Finding Lee's position impregnable, Grant advanced by a flank movement 
to Spottsylvania Court House. Here, on May nth, Hancock, by a desperate 
assault, captured Generals Johnson and E. H. Stewart, with 3000 men and 
30 guns, while Lee himself barely escaped. But no fighting, however desperate, 
could carry Lee's works. Sheridan with his cavalry now made a dashing raid 
toward Richmond. He fought the Confederate cavalry, killed their General, 
J. E. B. Stuart, and returned, having suffered little damage, to Grant. General 



Butler with 30,000 men steamed up the James River and seized City Point, with 
the view of seizing Petersburor. He was, however, too slow, and in a fight with 
Beauregard, near Proctor's Creek, lost 4000 men, while the Confederates lost 
but 3000. 

General Grant reached, May 1 7th, the North Anna, where he gained some 
advantage, but as Lee was strongly intrenched, he moved on again to Cold 
Harbor. Here an assault on Lee ended with a Union loss of 1705 killed, 9072 
wounded and 2406 missing. Sheridan again raided Lee's rear, tore up rail- 
roads, and burnt stores, and after having lost 735 men he returned to Grant with 
370 prisoners. Grant now pressed on toward the James River ; assaults were 


made on Petersburg with a loss of many killed and 5000 prisoners. The 
Unionist General Wilson, with 8000 cavalry, while tearing up the Danville 
railroad, lost 1000 prisoners. 

Another attempt to take Petersburg by a mine explosion resulted in a 
Unionist loss of 4400 and Confederate loss of 1000. A series of gallant 
attacks by the Unionists were as gallandy repulsed. Thus Hancock assailed 
Lee's left wing below Richmond, losing 5000 men. Warren seized the Weldon 
Railroad, at the expense of 4450, while the Confederates lost but 1 200. Han- 
cock's attempt to seize Ream's Station ended in his being driven back and 


losing 2400 men. Warren grasped the Squirrel Level Road at a cost of 2500 
men. Butler, however, took Port Harrison, with 1 1 5 guns, but failed to take 
Fort Gilmore after a loss of 300. The Confederates, attempting to retake Fort 
Harrison, were beaten back with a heavy loss. The Union cavalry under Gen- 
eral Kautz advanced within five miles of Richmond, but were driven back with 
a loss of 9 guns and 500 men. Hancock tried to turn the Confederate flank 
and took 1000 prisoners, but had to retire with a loss of 1500. 

Thus this campaign of 1864 closed with a loss in the aggregate of 87,387 
men from the Army of the Potomac. 

In West Virginia Sigel was routed at New Market by J. C. Breckinridge 
with a loss of six guns and 700 men. Hunter, succeeding Sigel, beat the Con- 
federates, June 8th, at Piedmont, killing General Jones and taking 1500 men, but 
was himself, with 20,000 men, soon after beaten at Lynchburg, and forced to a 
disastrous retreat over the Alleghanies to the Potomac. 

This opened the way for the Confederate, Early, with 20,000 veterans, to 
march northward. With a loss of but 600 he defeated General Lew Wallace 
near Frederick, killing and capturing 2000 men. After threatening Baltimore 
and Washington he retreated South with 2500 captured horses and 5000 catde. 
He also defeated at Winchester General Crook, whose loss was 1200. Shortly 
after the Unionist General Averill defeated B. F. Johnson's cavalry and took 
500 prisoners. 

Not long after, on September 19, 1864, Early, after a brilliant attack by 
Sheridan at Winchester, was routed, losing 6000 men, while the Unionists lost 
1000 less. At Fisher's Hill Sheridan again routed him, taking 16 guns and 
1 100 prisoners; at Cedar Creek, while Sheridan was absent at Washington, 
Early made a sudden and determined assault, throwing the Unionists into a panic- 
stricken mob, capturing 24 guns and 1 200 prisoners. Sheridan, by his famous 
ride of twenty miles, met his beaten army. He reorganized it, inspired it to 
make a general and magnificent attack, and won a great victory, recapturing 
his 24 guns, taking 23 more, and 1500 prisoners. The loss on either side 
was about 3000. 

In the Southwest General Sturgis (Union) with 1 2,000 men routed General 
Forrest at Guntown, Miss., killing and capturing 4000. In East Tennessee 
the Confederate raider Morgan captured 1600 Unionists at Licking River, but 
was himself soon after chased away with a loss of half his force. During these 
operations General Sherman advanced (May 18, 1864) with 100,000 men from 
Chattanooga. He was stubbornly resisted by General J. E. Johnston with an 
army of 54,000. At Kenesaw Mountain Sherman lost 3000 men while the 
Confederates lost 442. He, however, kept flanking and fighting the Confed- 
erates until he reached Atlanta, during which two months the enemy had lost 
14,200 men; but reinforcements kept their numbers up to 51,000. During 



these movements the Confederate General Polk, who on accepting his commis- 
sion in the army had not resigned his position as a Bishop of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, was killed by a cannon ball while reconnoitring on Pine 
Mountain, a few miles north of Marietta. Hood succeeded Johnston, and 
aimed a heavy blow at Thomas, on Sherman's right, losing 4000 and inflicting 



a loss of but 1500. On the 2 2d occurred another great battle in which 
McPherson, a very superior Union general, was killed, and 4000 Unionists 
were lost. The Confederate loss was, however, not less than 8000. General 
Stoneman whilst raiding Hood's rear was captured, with 1000 of his cavalry. 
Hood, after suffering a heavy repulse by Logan, and another at Jonesboro 
by Howard, in the latter of which he lost 2000, and still another by J. C. 


Davis, when Jonesboro and many guns and prisoners were taken from 
him, retreated eastward, leaving Atlanta, September ist, to the Union victors. 
Being reinforced, however, so as to have about 55,000 troops, he returned for 
an invasion of Tennessee. At Franklin, November 30th, he made a desperate 
onset against Schofield, and was baffled, at an expense of 4500 men to himself 
and of 2320 to the Union. At Nashville, to which he laid siege, he was struck 
by Thomas, December 15th, with great skill and determination during a two 
days' battle, and broken to pieces, having lost more than 13,000, besides seventy- 
two pieces of artillery. The Union loss was 10,000 during the campaign. In 
November and December Sherman at the head of 65,500, including the cavalry 
protection of Kilpatrick, executed his famous march to the sea, i.e., from Atlanta 
to Savannah. His reward was 167 guns and 1328 prisoners and a demoralized 
South. The Confederate General Hardee, who had already evacuated Savan- 
nah, was obliged by a new advance of Sherman northward, February, 1865, 
to evacuate Charleston also, with 12,000 men. A cavalry engagement took 
place near the north line of South Carolina, between Kilpatrick and Wade 
Hampton, in which the former was surprised, but the latter finally beat him. 
Near Fayetteville, North Carolina, March 15th, he was attacked without success 
by Hardee, now acting under Joseph Johnston, having 40,000 men under his 
command ; and three days after at Bentonville by Johnston himself Sherman 
lost 1643, but forced Johnston to retire, leaving 267 dead and 1625 prisoners 
and wounded. 

Fort Fisher, that protected the blockade runners at Wilmington, N. C, was 
bombarded by Commodore Porter and carried by assault by General A. H. 
Terry, January 16, 1865. This victory, purchased at a cost of 410 killed and 
536 wounded, threw into the Union hands 169 guns and 2083 prisoners. And 
Wilmington itself fell about one month later, under an attack by Schofield. 

General James H. Wilson, with 15,000 cavalry from the armies of Grant 
and Thomas, routed General Forrest at Selma, Ala., April 2d, capturing 22 
guns and 2700 prisoners and burning 125,000 bales of cotton. Soon after, he 
captured at Columbus, Ga., 52 guns and 1200 prisoners, besides burning a 
gunboat, 250 cars, and 115,000 cotton bales. He took Fort Tyler by assault, 
but ceased operations at Macon, Ga., because by that time the rebellion was 

General Grant resumed operations February 6, 1865, when he repulsed at 
Hatcher's Run, at a cost of 2000 troops, the Confederates, who lost 1000. 
General Sheridan with 10,000 cavalry routed Early, on March 2d, from Waynes- 
boro, taking 11 guns and 1600 prisoners, and joined Grant at Petersburg after 
having passed entirely around Lee's army. An attack by Lee against Fort 
Stedman was repelled with a loss of 2500 to the Unionists and 4500 to the 


Grant, fearing that Lee might attempt to evacuate Richmond, threw 
Warren's corps and Sheridan's cavalry to the southwest of Petersburg. 
Warren, after having his divisions broken by Lee but re-formed by the aid of 
Griffin, united with Sheridan, who had been foiled the day before, April ist, at 
Five Forks. Warren and Sheridan now charged the Confederates' works, 
which were taken, along with 5000 prisoners. A general assault was made by 
the Union army at daylight, April 2d, when Ord's Corps (Union) carried Forts 
Gregg and Alexander by storm. A. P. Hill, a brilliant Confederate general, 
was shot dead. That night Lee evacuated Richmond, burning his warehouses 
filled with stores. General Weitzel, at 6 a.m. April 3d, entered the city with 
his men and was soon followed by President Lincoln. Petersburg was at the 
same time abandoned. Lee halted his army, now dwindled to 35,000 men, at 
Amelia Court House. Grant rapidly pursued. Ewell was severed from Lee's 
rear and became one among 6000 prisoners. Lee heroically pushed on to 
Appomattox Court House, where his flight was intercepted by Sherman marching 
from the South. Lee was inclined to renew the fighting against Sherman, but 
his weary and famished army stood no chance against the fearful odds around 
them. And Lee, to prevent further useless bloodshed, surrendered his army to 
Grant on April 9, 1865, within three days of four years after the rebellion had 
been opened by the bombardment of Fort Sumter. Bell ringing, triumphant 
salutes, and boundless joy throughout the United States hailed this event as the 
close of the war. Johnston surrendered his army to Sherman at Raleigh, N. C, 
April 26th, and Dick Taylor his, to Canby at Citronville, Ala., May 4th. The 
terms of the surrender were magnanimous : " Each officer and man was allowed 
to return to his home, not to be disturbed by the United States authority so 
long as they observed their paroles and the laws in force where they may 

Jefferson Davis, the president of the now destroyed Confederacy, fled from 
Richmond at the time of its evacuation. Attended at first with a cavalry escort 
of 2000, which soon dwindled mostly away, he was making his way toward the 
coast, with his family and "a few faithful followers " when he was captured near 
Irwinsville, Georgia. After an imprisonment of two years in Fortress Monroe, 
he was released, and allowed to live without molestation, mourning the lost 
cause, until he died, December 6, 1889. 

The Union soldiers numbered during the war 2,666,999, ^^ which 294,266 
were drafted, the rest being volunteers. The deaths on the field or from 
wounds amounted to 5221 officers and 90,868 men, while 2321 officers 182,329 
men died from disease or accident. The Confederate armies enrolled were 
600,000 men, of whom they lost more than one-half The Confederate cruisers, 
the "Alabama," "Florida," "Georgia," "Sumter," and "Tallahassee," most of 



which were fitted out in British ports, well nigh destroyed American commerce. 
The "Alabama," commanded by Raphael Semmes, went down off the French 
coast, June 19, 1864, in a memorable action with the U. S. S. " Kearsarge," 
commanded by Captain Winslow. 

The greatest act of Abraham Lincoln was his Emancipation Proclamation, 
issued January i, 1863, giving freedom to 4,000,000 of slaves. 

And so ended the great internecine conflict, which has made us a strong, 
consolidated, free nation, never again, let us hope, to be given over to fraternal 





By colonel A. K. McCLURE, 

Editor and Proprietor of the Philadelphia Times. 

Before all those who more or less actively participated in the civil or 
military events of our Civil War shall have passed away, it might be well 
to crystallize into history some of its forgotten lessons. The young student 
of to-day, who must turn to history for all knowledge of the dark days of 
the bloodiest civil war of modern times, can be easily and fully informed 

as to all important political events and the 
many battles which were fought between 
the blue and the gray. But there are 
many facts and incidents connected with 
the origin and prosecution of that memo- 
rable conflict which have no place in the 
annals of history, but which exercised a 
very great, and at times a controlling, 
influence in shaping the policy of the 
Government, and even in deciding the 
issues of the war itself It is to some of 
these apparently forgotten lessons of the 
great conflict I propose to give a chapter 
that I hope may be entertaining and 

When we turn aside from the beaten 
historical paths to explore the forgotten 
issues and movements of more than thirty 
years ago, we are startled at the magnitude of questions in those days which 
seem now to be accepted as incapable of controversy. The student of to-day 
only sees the fact that the issues between slavery and freedom were natural 
and irrepressible, and that in such a contest, with a vast preponderance of 
numbers, wealth, and physical and moral power, there could be but one result 
from such a struggle ; but there are few to-day who have knowledge of the 
intrenched power of slavery, not only in our commercial cities, but throughout 





the whole business interests of the country, and it will doubtless surprise many 
readers when they are told that even as late as September, 1862, when the war 
had been in progress for nearly two years, scores of thousands of thoroughly 
loyal supporters of the Government in every State shuddered at the idea of 
Emancipation. It will be equally sur- 
prising to the students of American "- 
history to-day to learn that the great '^ ^»\P ^. - . 
mass of the people of both sections 
of the country were so 
jprofoundly interested in / 


a\ erting fraternal conflict that only the 
madness of the secession leaders forced 
the North to unite in the support of the war by wantonly firing upon the 
starving and helpless garrison of Fort Sumter when its peaceable surrender 
could have been accomplished within a few hours thereafter. So general and 
•deep-seated was the aversion to war in the North, that had the Government 



commenced hostilities, even after the capture of the national forts and arsenals 
which had been seized by the insurgents, the North would have been hope- 
lessly divided on the question of supporting the Government. 

While it is probable that the slavery issue would have culminated in civil 
war some time during the present century, I feel entirely warranted in assuming 


that the sectional conflict begun in 1861 would not have reached an appeal to 
the sword but for the fact that both sections mutually believed the other incapa- 
ble of accepting civil war. Had the Northern and Southern people understood 
each other then as well as they understood each other after the soldiers of the 
blue and gray had exhibited their matchless heroism on so many battlefields, 
the election and inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as President would not have 


precipitated war. Civil war had been threatened by alarmists and agitators in 
and out of Congress for many years, and many of the Southern leaders grew 
offensively arrogant in discussing sectional issues during the debates in Con- 
gress, for several years before the election of Lincoln. It was not uncommon 
for Northern men to be taunted as cowards because they refused to accept the 
code of honor, and finally, when the secession of States began, it was the 
almost universal belief throughout the South that the Northern people were 
mere money getters, and incapable of heroic action even in defense of their 
convictions. The South assumed that the North would not fight, because it was 
believed that the Northern people were so averse to fighting that they would 
submit even to dissolution of the government rather than risk their lives for its 
defense. On the other hand, the Northern people believed the Southerners to 
be led by bombasts who would take pause in their aggressive actions whenever 
compelled to face the fearful realities of actual war. 

I have never forgotten an incident that occurred in a party caucus in the 
Pennsylvania Legislature, held on the night after the surrender of Sumter. I 
was then a Senator and in political accord with the majority of both branches 
of the Legislature that heartily sustained President Lincoln. The occasion was 
so grave that the caucus met in secret session, and the first half dozen speeches 
ridiculed the idea of actual war, because the Southern people were bombasts 
and cowards, and some of the speakers boldly declared that the Northern 
women could sweep away to the South of the Potomac, with their brooms, these 
blatant warriors. Having studied the situation both North and South, as Chair- 
man of the Military Committee of the Senate, I ventured to correct the errone- 
ous impressions created by the speakers, saying that the Southerners were of 
our own blood and lineao-e, had shared all our heroism in the achievements 
of the past, and that if we should become involved in civil war, it would be one 
of the most desperate and bloody wars of history. My declaration that the South 
would fight as heroically as the North was hissed from every section of the caucus. 
How fearfully true my statements and predictions were, was soon attested on the 
many battlefields, from the first Bull Run to Appomattox. No one then could 
have believed that the South would marshal and maintain an army of half a 
million men, to display the highest measure of heroism and sacrifice to overthrow 
the noblest government of the earth, and none could then have believed that 
the Northern people would furnish and maintain more than a million men during 
four long years of the bloodiest conflict, as the price of the perpetuity of the 
Republic. Had we known each other better then ; had we known that the 
soldiers of both the North and the South would make Grecian and Roman story 
Dale before their heroism in fraternal conflict, I doubt not that the Civil War 
begun in 1861 would have been postponed for a future generation. 

The first gun fired against Sumter, on the 12th of April, 1861, sounded 



the death knell of the Southern Confederacy and of slavery ; and had the first 
gun of the war been fired by Major Anderson, the commander of Fort Sumter, 
against any of the Confederate batteries erected to bombard him and his little 
command, the North would have -^ 

been divided on the vital 
issue of supporting the =* 
Go\ernment, and even _* 
revolution ~ I* 


in the North 
would have 
been more 
than possible. Mr. Lincoln was 
inaugurated on the 4th of March, 
and from that time until the 
bombardment of Sumter the 
provisional Confederate Govern- 
ment, then located at Montgomery, Ala- 
bama, committed acts of war against the 
National Government, by seizing forts and 
arsenals, and by erecting batteries at Charleston, within range of Major 
Anderson's guns, to make his fort defenseless. With all these preparations 
for war on the part of the South, begun during the last three months of 



Buchanan's Administration and continued after Lincoln's inauguration, the 
Government was entirely helpless to defend its forts and property. The forts 
could not be reinforced because the small standing army at that day was 
utterly unequal to the task. Nine important forts in six Southern States were 
garrisoned by but a handful of men, without supplies in case of siege, or means 
of defense in case of assault from batteries whose construction could not be 
impeded, as to fire upon them would have been an act of war. The Govern- 
ment was not only unable to man its forts and defend them and the arsenals 
of the South, but neither President Buchanan nor President Lincoln dared to 
call for an increase of the army. Had either of them done so, it would have 
been an open menace of war to coerce the rebellious States back into the 
Union ; it would have inflamed the South into precipitating the conflict, and 
would not have been sustained by the people in the North. 

Thus was the Government utterly helpless to hinder preparations for war 
by the new Confederacy. Many of the ablest and most patriotic men of both 
parties of the North doubted the right of the Government to coerce a State 
by the bayonet, and had either Buchanan or Lincoln called for an increase of 
the army, or attempted to recapture forts and arsenals seized by the South, it 
would have been regarded as needlessly hastening a conflict that all hoped 
could be avoided. It was the midsummer madness of the Southern Confed- 
eracy in precipitating the war by firing upon the starved and feeble garrison of 
Sumter that, obliterated the issue of "coercion," and that practically united the 
North in sustaining the Government in an aggressive war policy. So entirely 
were we unprepared for war, that the President had no authority to call out 
troops, even after Sumter had been fired upon, and the President's proclamation 
summoning 75,000 volunteers for three months' service had to be legalized by 
subsequent act of Congress. The discussion of the propriety or impropriety 
of war was summarily ended when war was actually declared by the Charleston 
batteries hurling their hot shot into Sumter ; and from that day until the sur- 
render of the Confederate armies, after the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands 
of lives and countless treasure, the North was inspired by its patriotism to 
prosecute the war until the Rebellion should be overthrown and the authority of 
the Government established in every State of the Union. 

Had the Confederate Government been content to hold the forts and 
arsenals it had seized without bloodshed, and waited for the General Govern- 
ment to precipitate war, the conflict would have been indefinitely postponed and 
the Confederacy would have become so strong by the passive assent of the 
Government to its establishment that its overthrow might have been impossible. 
Certain it is that if President Lincoln had opened the war by firing upon the 
Southern forces, except in defense of assailed Government troops, he could not 
have commanded anything approaching a united support from the Northern 


people ; he would have been fearfully censured as having wantonly engaged in 
a great war over issues that might have been adjusted peaceably by patience ; 
and none can now assume to say what would have been the issue of such a con- 
flict with the North bitterly divided because of a sectional war precipitated by 
the aggressive action of the Government. It was the first gun fired against 
Sumter that crystallized the North, that gave Lincoln the power to summon 
patriotic armies to defend the Republic, and that assured, in the fullness of time, 
the utter overthrow of the Confederacy and the re-establishment of the great 
American Republic without the blot of slavery upon its escutcheon. 

The naval warfare of the world was revolutionized in a single day by the 
battle between the " Merrimac " and the " Monitor" at Fortress Monroe, on the 
9th of March, 1862. It was the most sudden and startling revolution ever 
attained in methods of warfare, and it was a revelation to every nation of 
the earth. The United States steam frigate " Merrimac " was set on fire at the 
Gosport Navy Yard at the outbreak of the war, when hastily abandoned by 
the Federal navy officers. It was burned to the water's edge and sunk, but 
soon after the Confederates raised the hull, which was not seriously damaged, 
and its engines in yet reasonably good condition, and they hurriedly under- 
took the then original conception of converting it into an iron clad. A 
powerful prow of cast iron was attached to its stem, a few feet under water, 
and projecting sufficiently to enable it to break in the side of any wooden 
vessel. A low wooden roof two feet thick was built at an incline of about 
36 degrees, and this was plated with double iron armor, making a four-inch 
iron plating. Under this protection were mounted two broadside batteries 
of four guns each, and a gun at the stem and stern. The Government was 
soon advised of the raisincr of the hull of the " Merrimac," and without having 
detailed information on the subject, knew that a powerful iron-clad was 
being constructed. A board of naval officers had been selected by the 
Government to consider the various suggestions for the construction of 
iron-clad vessels, and although, as a rule, naval officers had little faith in the 
experiment. Congress coerced them into action by the appropriation of half 
a million dollars for the work. The Naval Board recommended a trial of 
three of the most acceptable plans presented, and they were put under 

Among those who pressed the adoption of light iron-clads, capable of 
penetrating our shallow harbors, rivers, and bayous, was John Ericsson. 
He was a Swede by birth, but had long been an American citizen, and exhibited 
uncommon genius and scientific attainments in engineering. The vessel he 
proposed to build was to be only 127 feet in length, 27 feet in width, and 
1 2 feet deep, to be covered by a flat deck rising only one or two feet above 
water. The only armament of the vessel was to be a revolving turret, about 

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20 feet in diameter and nine feet high, made of plated wrought iron aggre- 
gating eight inches in thickness, with two eleven-inch Dahlgren guns. The 
guns were so constructed that they could be fired as the turret revolved, and 
the port-hole would be closed immediately after firing. The size of the 
" Merrimac " was well known to the Government to be quite double the length 
and breadth of the " Monitor," but it had the disadvantage of requiring 
nearly double the depth of water in which to manoeuvre it. Various 
sensational reports were received from time to time of the progress made 
on the " Merrimac," the name of which was changed by the Confederates to 
"Virginia," and as we had only wooden hulls at Fortress Monroe to resist it, 
great solicitude was felt for the safety of the fleet and the maintenance of 
the blockade. While the Government hurried the construction of the new 
iron-clads to the utmost, little faith was felt that such fragile vessels as 
the " Monitor " could cope with so powerful an engine of war as the " Merrimac." 
The most formidable vessels of the navy, including the " Minnesota," the twin 
ship of the original "Merrimac," the "St. Lawrence," the " Roanoke," the 
" Concfress," and the " Cumberland," were all there waiting the advent of the 
" Merrimac." 

On Saturday, the 8th of March, the "Merrimac" appeared at the mouth 
of the Elizabeth River and steamed directly for the Federal fleet. All the 
vessels slipped cable and started to enter the conflict, but the heavier ships soon 
ran aground and became helpless. The " Merrimac " hurried on, and after 
firing a broadside at the "Congress," crashed into the sides of the "Cumber- 
land," whose brave men fired broadside after broadside at their assailant only 
to see their balls glance from its mailed roof An immense hole had been 
broken into the hull by the prow of the " Merrimac," and in a very few minutes 
the "Cumberland" sank in fifty feet of water, her last gun being fired when 
the water had reached its muzzle, and the whole gallant crew went to the bottom 
with their flag still flying from the masthead. The "Merrimac" then turned 
upon the " Congress." It was compelled to flee from such a hopeless struggle, 
and was finally grounded near the shore ; but the " Merrimac," selecting a 
position where her guns could rake her antagonist, after a bloody fight of more 
than an hour, with the commander killed and the ship on fire, the " Congress" 
struck her flag, and was soon blown up by the explosion of her magazine. 
Most fortunately for the Federal fleet, the " Merrimac" had not started out on 
its work of destruction until after midday. Its iron prow had been broken in 
breaching the "Cumberland," and after the fierce broadsides it had received 
from the " Cong-ress " and the "Cumberland," with the other vessels firing 
repeatedly during the hand-to-hand conflict, the "Merrimac" was content to 
withdraw for the day, and anchored for the night under the Confederate shore 
batteries on Sewall's Point. 



The night of March 8th was probably the gloomiest period of the war. It 
was well known at Fortress Monroe and at Washington that the " Merrimac" 
would resume its work on the following day, and it was equally well known that 
there were neither vessels nor batteries 
to offer any serious resistance to its 
work. With the fleet destroyed and 
the blockade raised, not only Washing- 
ton, but even New 

York, might be at the 
mercy of this new 
and invincible engine 
of war. There did not 
seem to be even a sil- 
ver lining to the dark 
cloud that hung over 

the Union cause ; but 

deliverance came 
most unexpectedly, as 
some time during the 
night the litde "Moni- 
tor" was seen, by the light of 
the yet burning "Congress," 
towed into the waters of Hampton 
Roads. It was viewed with con- 
tempt by the naval officers and 
described as "a raft with a cheese 
box on top of it " ; but Lieutenant 
Worden, who commanded the 
little iron-clad, after being advised 
of the situation, boldly took his 
position, after midnight, near the 
still helpless " Minnesota," thus 
challenging the whole fury of the " Merrimac " upon the " Monitor." On 
Sunday morning, the 9th of March, the "Merrimac" sailed out defiantly to 
complete its work of destruction and thus make itself master of the capital, 
of New York, and, presumably, end the Richmond campaign then contem- 



plated, and the little "Monitor" sailed out boldly to meet it. The history of 
that conflict need not be repeated. To the utter amazement of the commandei 
of the "Merrimac," the "Monitor" was impervious to its terrible broadsides, 
while its lightness and shallow draft enabled it to out-manoeuvre its antagonist 
at every turn ; and while it did not fire one gun for ten of its adversary, its 
aim was precise and the "Merrimac" was materially worsted in the conflict. 
After three hours of desperate battle the defiant and invincible " Merrimac " of the 
day before was compelled to give up the contest and retreat back to Norfolk. 

It was this single naval conflict, and the signal triumph of the little 
"Monitor," that revolutionized the whole naval warfare of the world in a single 
day, and from that time until the present the study of all nations for aggressive 
or defensive warfare has been the perfection of the Iron-clad. To the people 
of the present time the iron-clad is so familiar, and its discussion so common, 
that few recall the fact that only thirty years ago it was unknown, and little 
dreamed of as an important implement of war. It is notable that neither of 
those vessels which inaugurated iron-clad warfare, and made it at once the 
accepted method of naval combat for the world, ever afterward engaged in 
battle during the three years of war which continued. The "Merrimac" was 
constantly feared as likely to make a new incursion against our fleet, but her 
commander never again ventured to lock horns with the "Monitor" and the 
additional iron-clads which were soon added to the navy. Early in May the 
capture of Norfolk by General Wool placed the " Merrimac " in a position of 
such peril that on the i ith of May, 1862, she was fired by her commander and 
crew and abandoned, and soon after was made a hopeless wreck by the explosion 
of her magazine. The fate of the "Monitor" was even more tragic. The 
following December, when being towed off Cape Hatteras, she foundered in a 
gale and went to the bottom with a portion of her officers and men ; but she 
had taught the practicability of iron-clads in naval warfare, and when she went 
down a whole fleet was under construction after her own model, and some 
vessels already in active service. 

One of the forgotten lessons of the war is given in the singular fatality that 
attended the formidable iron-clad vessels constructed by the Confederacy. The 
South not only furnished the first iron-clad of the war, but it constructed others, 
which were confidently and reasonably relied upon to raise the blockade in both 
Savannah and New Orleans. The Confederates had converted the English iron- 
clad steamer Fingal, one of the successful blockade runners, into one of the 
most powerful iron-clad war vessels constructed by either side during the war. 
It was regarded by all as the most dangerous engine of war that had yet been 
produced ; and when Admiral Dupont ordered two of his best monitors, the 
" Weehawken " and the " Nahant," to accept the "Atlanta's " challenge of battle, 
the gravest fears were cherished by the Admiral as to the Issue of the conflict. 



So confident were the officers of the "Atlanta" and the people of Savannah of 
the speedy and complete victory of the new Confederate iron-clad, that when 
the "Atlanta," on the 17th of June, 1863, steamed out to give battle, it was 
accompanied by steamers brilliantly decorated with flags and crowded with men 
and women, the elite of the city, to witness the destruction of the Union fleet. 


The "Atlanta" opened the battle, but the Federal monitors were silent until 
they got the exact range desired, when a ball from the " Weehawken "struck 
the side of the "Atlanta," penetrated its armor, and prostrated half the fighting 
force of the vessel by the concussion. The second shot struck the "Atlanta 
and seriously damaged its plating; the third wounded both the pilots and 


demolished the pilot house ; and the fourth and final shot crashed through a 
port shutter. So stunning was the first shot received by the "Atlanta" from 
the "Weehawken" that the "Atlanta" never again fired a gun, as it became 
unmanageable and entirely at the mercy of its adversary. Thus in a very few 
minutes after the battle opened the Confederate iron-clad displaced its colors 
with the white flag, and it was regarded as one of the grandest naval prizes of the 
war. The captured iron-clad was towed away by the victors and reconstructed 
for service in the Federal navy, but on the 6th of December, 1863, when with 
the fleet within Charleston Harbor, a rough sea caught it, heavily laden with 
shells, and before relief could come it sunk to the bottom with some twenty-five 
officers and men. 

Such was the fate of the two great iron-clads of the Confederacy that were 
completed and put into action. Each fought one battle and both perished soon 
thereafter ; but the most formidable of all the iron-clads constructed by the South 
during the war, was within a few weeks of completion when Admiral Farragut 
captured New Orleans. The Admiral was advised of the construction of this 
vessel, and the fear of its completion certainly hastened his aggressive action in 
attacking the Confederate forts and fleet on the Mississippi, to enter New 
Orleans. Neither was his information in any degree at fault as to the invulner- 
able character of the new iron-clad. After the capture of New Orleans, Ad- 
miral Farragut and General Butler informed themselves minutely of this new 
engine of war, and both confessed that had it been completed before the capture 
of the city, it would have been capable of destroying Farragut's entire fleet, 
raising the blockade and defending New Orleans from capture. Most fortunately 
for the Union cause, with all the haste that could be practiced in the construc- 
tion of this vessel, it could not be made serviceable until after Farragut's 
heroic and successful assault, and it shared the fate of the first of the Confed- 
erate iron-clads by being blown up by those who had staked the highest hopes 
upon its achievements. Thus while the Confederates were eminently successful 
with their free-lance vessels assailing our commerce on the seas of the world, 
and while they conceived and accomplished much in the construction of great 
iron-clads, their vessels were all singularly fated to be valueless in promoting 
the Confederate cause. When it is remembered that had the Federal blockade 
been raised in any of our leading ports and an open port maintained, as was 
possible by each of these Confederate iron-clads, the recognition of the Con- 
federacy by England and France would have speedily followed, we may justly 
appreciate the magnitude of the succession of disasters that attended these 
Confederate engines of war. 

The civilized world dates the emancipation of slaves in the United States 
with President Lincoln's proclamation of January ist, 1863, and all historians 
of the future will date the overthrow of bondage in our land with that 



immortal instrument. But the Emancipation Proclamation was not the end 
of slavery ; it was simply the means that crystallized the forces that led to 
universal freedom within the limits of the Republic. In point of fact. 
President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation did not liberate a single slave, 
and it did not even assume to overthrow slavery in all the States of the 
Union. Tennessee, Maryland, and Delaware, three slave States then in partial 
accord with the Government, and nearly one-half the territory of Virginia and 

{Front a photograph.) 

In the middle-ground midway of the swamp is the '* Island " which was covered with shelters after the higher ground had 

all been occupied. 

a considerable portion of the territory of Louisiana, were expressly excluded 
from the operations of the proclamation. It was an exercise of the extreme 
authority of the Executive under the war powers of the Constitution, and 
had it been thus carried into effect, it would have left slavery existing in five 
of the States. Congress had advanced toward emancipation to the extent 
of giving freedom to every slave that reached the Federal lines whose 
master was in rebellion against the Government, and the Emancipation 



Proclamation practically accomplished nothing more. While it proclaimed 
freedom to all the slaves within the States and territory named, their actual 
freedom was not attained until our victorious armies brought them within our 
lines, and possessed the territory of the slave States. 

President Lincoln well appreciated the fact that his proclamation was 
simply the final step toward the utter overthrow of slavery, and that other 
and most important agencies were essential to the completion of the great 
work with which his name must ever be associated. A prompt movement 
was made in Congress to give completeness to the emancipation policy by a 
constitutional amendment forbidding slavery in every State and Territory 
of the Union, and one of the most desperate Congressional struggles of 
the war was precipitated by that effort. It was defeated in 1864, wanting 


several votes of the necessary two-thirds in the House, but the same House, 
during the second session, finally adopted it, and thus slavery was abolished 
throughout the length and breadth of the land, and thus the complete 
triumph of Lincoln's Emancipation Policy was attained. But none the less 
will future generations turn back to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, 
as we do now, to date the deliverance of the great Republic of the world 
from the blistering stain of human bondage, and throughout all the peoples 
of the earth where the altar of liberty shall be known, there will the name 
of Abraham Lincoln be honored, because it gave freedom to 4,000,000 of 

There are very many forgotten lessons taught on the bloody battle fields 
of our Civil War which will never be recorded in history. The battle of 
Gettysburg, the Waterloo of the Confederacy, furnishes some most conspicuous 



instances of the apparent accidents which control the destiny of great armies, 
and possibly the destiny of nations. That great battle-field had not been chosen 
by the leaders of either army. It was accident or fate, or the omnipotent 
power that rules over all, that doomed the Confederate army to be defeated 
when it was most confident of victory and best equipped in numbers, munitions, 
and confidence for a triumphant campaign. The first day was an appalling 
disaster to the Federal army. Two army corps, embracing probably one-fourth 
of Meade's entire force, were not only defeated but routed in that engagement, 
the commanding officer killed, and the demoralized Federal forces driven 
through Gettysburg to Cemetery Hill. Had they been pursued by the Con- 


federate force that had defeated them, they could have been captured or 
scattered so as to be ineffective in the future battle ; and even after the pursuit 
had been abandoned and Confederate headquarters established on Seminary 
Hill, Round Top, that commanded the left of the Federal position, and Culp's 
Hill, that commanded its right, could have been taken without firing a gun. 
Had that been done, the most impregnable position between Williamsport and 
Washington could not have been held an hour the following morning, the great 
decisive battle of the war, fought between the opposing lines on Cemetery and 
Seminary Hills, would have been unknown to history, and on no other field 
chosen by the Federal commander could Lee have been compelled to fight at 
such a disadvantage. Had Meade been defeated at Gettysburg who could 


measure the consequences ? Baltimore, Philadelphia, all the teeming wealth 
of the Lancaster and Cumberland valleys, and possibly even the Capital itself, 
would have been at the mercy of the Southern victors. 

Three days' delay in the arrival of pontoon trains at Fredericksburg not 
only lost Burnside that battle, but ended in one of the most bloody assaults of 
the war, and one that was equaled only by Pickett's assault at Gettysburg in the 
wanton sacrifice of life. Burnside's delay, caused by the failure of his pontoon 
trains, gave Lee ample time to concentrate his army and entrench himself on the 
heights of Fredericksburg, and the defeat of the Federal army, with 16,000 
killed and wounded, was the sequel of the blunder. The mistake of a single 
officer in choosino; a road when executingf the orders of General Meade in 
marching upon Mine Run, in all human probability, saved Lee from a most 
disastrous defeat, and compelled Meade to retire and close the campaign. 
Had his plans been executed he would have suddenly thrown his entire 
army between Lee's divided forces, fought them in detail and defeated them ; 
but the mistaken march of part of his army separated his own forces and 
enabled Lee to concentrate at Mine Run, where he was so strongly entrenched 
that his position was absolutely impregnable. Many such instances might be 
cited, and results no less momentous frequently depended upon the condition 
of the roads and bridges, or of the weather, for " moist weather at the front" 
meant indefinite delay in the movement of trains and utter uncertainty as to 
the time in which necessary movements could be executed. The most heroic 
strategy of the war was exhibited by General Grant, when he swung his army 
away from the Mississippi River around to Jackson, defeated General Johnson 
in several pitched battles, separated him finally from General Pemberton, and 
shut Pemberton up in Vicksburg for his memorable siege that ended in the 
surrender of Pemberton' s army six weeks thereafter. Grant is the only 
General of the army who would have made that campaign, and he did it 
against the advice of his subordinate officers and even against the written protest 
of General Sherman.. It was a most perilous venture, but it meant the surrender 
and early capture of Vicksburg if successful, and Grant made it a success by 
his indomitable courage and celerity of movement. How he moved may be 
understood when it is stated that he was himself entirely without personal 
baggage, and he was so swift in his marches and in his attacks upon the enemy 
that when Johnson was defeated in the first battle, he was never given time to 
concentrate for another. But for that heroic movement it is doubtful whether 
Vicksburg could have been captured at all, and it is reasonably certain that, if 
captured, it would have been months later and after fearful sacrifice of life. 

It was the deep-seated personal prejudice of Jefferson Davis that made 
Sherman's romantic march to the sea possible, in 1864. General Joseph E. 
Johnson was not in favor with the Confederate President. A short time before 



the capture of Atlanta, Davis appeared there in person, removed Johnson from 
command and substituted General Hood, who was a brave but unskillful 
General ; and in a public speech Davis gave notice that the Confederate army 
was to assume the aggressive. Hood speedily justified the prediction of Davis 


by making a desperate assault upon Sherman's lines to raise the siege of Atlanta. 
It was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the war, and for an hour or more after 
McPherson fell victory seemed to tremble in the balance, but Hood's army was 
finally defeated after terrible slaughter, and so impaired in strength that 
Sherman was soon able to manoeuvre him out of Atlanta without another ereat 


battle. Had General Johnson remained in command at Atlanta, it is entirely safe 
to say that General Sherman never would have attempted his march to the sea. 

Stonewall Jackson made the most heroic and perilous movement at Chancel- 
lorsville ever made by the Confederate army. He divided Lee's forces in the face 
of an enemy overwhelmingly superior in numbers, made a long march to strike 
General Hooker's right, surprised it, routed it and compelled Hooker's retreat 
back across the Rapidan without the two great armies meeting face to face in a 
general engagement. That movement cost Jackson his life and the Confederate 
army, confessedly, its ablest Lieutenant. Had Jackson opened the battle of 
Gettysburg there would have been no battle fought on Cemetery Hill. He 
would have possessed the strong positions on both flanks of that line, and the 
battle on the second day would not have been delayed until after mid-day. 
That delay enabled Meade largely to increase his army by the arrival of fresh 
corps and to make his position impregnable by fortification. It was the absence 
of the special qualities possessed by Jackson that lost Lee more than an even 
chance for winning that desperate and decisive conflict. There was but one 
General in the Union army who could have captured Lee at Appomattox. It 
was General Sheridan, and Sheridan alone, who made Lee's escape impossible. 
He was the very fiend of battle, capable of greater endurance than any other 
officer in the field, and inspired as he was by the hope of making Lee captive, he 
neither slept nor rested after the battle of Five Forks until the end came at 
Appomattox. Lee would have been defeated and routed without Sheridan, but 
he is the only General who would have forced Lee to surrender in an open 

The general public has almost forgotten the latest attempt of a European 
government to gain a foothold in North America. The brief reign of Maxi- 
milian as Emperor of Mexico ; his base desertion by the Emperor of the 
French when it became evident that the United States was to survive the 
rebellion as a united and powerful nation, and that the continued presence of 
a European army on American soil was regarded by the great Republic as a 
demonstration of hostility, and resented as such ; the immediate collapse of the 
empire when foreign support was withdrawn and the tragic death of Maximilian, 
form one of the saddest, but one of the most instructive, chapters in American 

Such are some of the forgotten lessons of the war, and if all of them were j 
carefully studied and faithfully presented, they would fill a large volume of most I 
interesting history ; but the actors in that crimson drama are rapidly passing . 
away. Not one of the great chieftains of either the blue or the gray now 
survives, and each year sadly thins the already narrow circle of those who r 
can recall the many forgotten lessons which are so romantically or so tragically 
interwoven with the history of the most heroic conflict ever made in man's 




struggle for man. It is well to believe that some of its lessons will never be 
forgotten. The horror of war which so hindered the prompt suppression of the 
Rebellion grew deeper and took firmer hold upon the minds of our people. To 
those communities, North and South, which sent out their best and bravest to 
unknown graves on distant battle-fields ; to those families who waited with fear 
and trembling to know at what cost to them was purchased the last great 
victory ; to those who saw their loved ones painfully hobbling upon crutches, 
or carrying an empty sleeve, or returning, the shadow of their former selves, 
from the horror of Andersonville or Libby Prison ; to these, and they were our 
whole people, war was, and is, utterly horrible. 

It is well to remember how the great man whose election to the presidency 
precipitated the conflict in those four years oi supreme trial, of sadness and of 
victory, bound to him the hearts of the people ; and it is well to remember how, 
even in that terrible time when Lincoln was assassinated, and when his slayer 
was being pursued and captured, in the hour which might seem to invite 
anarchy, our national administration was equal to every emergency, and the 
government was undisturbed. That a government of the people can live 
through such catastrophes is a lesson not soon to be forgotten. The great 
lesson of the war is the permanency, the adaptability and the adequacy of 
republican institutions. 

A. K. McClure. 



HE origin of the American navy dates from the commencement 
'^ of the struggle for national independence. Up to that time the 
colonies had looked to the mother country for protection on the 
seas. So the outbreak of the Revolution found them entirely 
without a navy. Their maritime interests were great, and their 
fishinsf craft and merchant vessels were numerous and were 
manned by singularly able and daring mariners. But fighting 
ships they had none, while their opponent was not only the 
greatest naval power of the world, but was doubtless, at sea, stronger than all 
others put together. England was therefore able not only to command the 
American coasts with her fleet, but also largely to thwart whatever feeble efforts 
toward the construction of a navy were made by the haggling and incompetent 
Continental Congress. Nevertheless the American navy did then come into 
existence, and wrought at least one deed as immortal in the history of the sea, 
as Bunker Hill in that of the war upon the land. 

In the fall of 1775, the building of thirteen war-cruisers was begun; but 
only six of them ever got to sea. Only one ship-of-the-line was built, the 
"America," and she was given to France before she was launched. During the 
whole war, a total of twenty small frigates and twenty-one sloops flew the 
American flag ; and fifteen of the former and ten of the latter were either 
captured or destroyed. What cockle-shells they were, and how slight in 
armament, compared with the floating fortresses of to-day, may be reckoned from 
the fact that twelve-pounders were their heaviest guns. Beside these, of course, 
there were many privateers, sent out to prey upon the enemy's commerce. 
These swift fishing craft ventured even to cruise along the very coast of 
England, and down to the time of the French alliance captured more than six 
hundred Enoflish vessels. 

In the annals of the regular navy, there are but three great captains' names : 
Wickes, Conyngham, and Jones. It was Lambert Wickes who, on his little 
sixteen gun " Reprisal," first bore the American war-flag to the shores of Europe. 



ami made it a terror to the great power that claimed to "rule the waves." 
After a brilliant cruise the " Reprisal " went down, with all hands, in the summer 
of 1777, on the treacherous banks of Newfoundland. Then Gustavus Conyngham 
took up the work, with his "Surprise" and "Revenge," and that very summer 
so scourged the might of England in the North Sea and in the British Channel 
itself, that the ports were crowded with ships that dared not venture out, and 
the rates of marine insurance rose to fabulous figures. 

But the one splendid name of that era was that of a canny young Scotch- 
man, John Paul Jones. Eighteenth he stood on the list of captains commissioned 
by the Congress, but on the scroll of fame, for those times, first — and there is no 
second. Coming to Virginia in boyhood, he entered the mercantile marine. 
When the war broke out he offered his services to the Congress, and was made 
a captain. And in 1778 he was sent with the "Ranger," of eighteen guns, to 
follow where Wickes and Conyngham had led. He swept with his tiny craft up 
and down the Irish Channel, entered Whitehaven and burned the shipping at 
the docks ; captured oft" Carrickfergus the British war-sloop " Drake," larger 
than his own ship, and then made his way to Brest with all his prizes in tow. 

Next year he set out on his immortal cruise, with a squadron of five ships. 
His flagship was an old merchantman, the "Duras," fitted up for fighting and 
renamed the "Bon Homme Richard," in honor of Franklin and his " Poor 
Richard's Almanac." She was a clumsy affair, armed with thirty-two twelve- 
pounders and six old eighteen-pounders not fit for use, and manned by 380 men 
of every race, from New Englanders to Malays. The "Pallas" was also a 
merchantman transformed into a thirty-two gun frigate. The " Vengeance " and 
the "Cerf" were much smaller; quite insignificant. The "Alliance" was a 
new ship, built in Massachusetts for the navy, but unhappily commanded by a 
Frenchman named Landais, half fool, half knave. Indeed, all the vessels save 
the flagship were commanded by Frenchmen, who were openly insubordinate, 
refusing half the time to recognize the commodore's authorit}\ and often leaving 
him to cruise and fight alone. Yet the motley squadron did much execution 
along the shores of Britain. It all but captured the city of Leith, and entered 
Humber and destroyed much shipping. 

But the crowning glory came on September 23, 1779. On that immortal 
date Jones espied, off Flamborough Head, a fleet of forty British merchantmen, 
guarded by two frigates, bound for the Baltic. At once he gave chase. He 
had, besides his own ship, only the " Pallas " and the " Alliance," but they would 
be sufficient to capture the whole fleet. But the miserable Landais refused to 
obey the signal, and kept out of the action. So the fight began, two and two. 
Jones, with the " Bon Homme Richard," attacked the "Serapis," Captain Pear- 
son, and the " Pallas" engaged the " Countess of Scarborough." The "Sera- 
pis " had fifty guns and was much faster and stronger than Jones's ship. The 



"Countess of Scarborough," on the other hand, was much inferior to the 
" Pallas " and proved an early victim. 

It was growing dark, on a cloudy evening, and the sea was smooth as a 
mill-pond, when the " Bon Homme Richard " and the " Serapis " began their 
awful duel. Both fired full broadsides at the same instant. Two of Jones's old 
eighteen-pounders burst, killing twelve men,^and the others were at once aban- 
doned. So all through the fight, after that first volley, he had only his thirty-two 
twelve-pounders against the 
fifty guns — twenty of them 
eighteen-pounders, twenty 
nine-pounders, and ten six- 
pounders — of the " Serapis." 
For an hour they fought and 
manoeuvred, then came to- 
gether with a crash. An 
instant, the firing ceased. 
" Have you struck your 
colors?" demanded Pearson. 
" I have not yet begun to 
fight ! " replied Jones. Then 
with his own hands Jones 
lashed the two ships together, 
and inseparably joined, their 
sides actually touching, they 
battled on. Solid shot and 
canister swept through both 
ships like hail, while musket- 
men on the decks and in the 
rigging exchanged storms of 
bullets. For an hour and a 
half the conflict raged. Then 
Landais came up with the 
"Alliance" and began firing 
equally on both. Jones ordered him to go to the other side of the " Serapis " 
and board, and his answer was to turn helm and go out of the fight altogether. 
Now the fighting ships were both afire, and both leaking and sinking. Most 
of the guns were disabled, and three-fourths of the men were killed or 
wounded. The gallant Pearson stood almost alone on the deck of the doomed 
"Serapis," not one of his men able to fight longer. Jones was as solitary on 
the "Bon Homme Richard," all his men still able-bodied being at the pumps, 
striving to keep the ship afloat. With his own hands he trained a gun upon 



the mainmast of the "Serapis," and cut it down; and then Pearson surren- 
dered. The "Pallas" and "Alliance" came up and took off the men, and in 
a few hours the two ships sank, still bound together in the clasp of death. 

This was not only one of the most desperate and deadly naval battles 
in history. Its moral effect was epoch-making. John Paul Jones was the 
hero of the day, and Europe showered honors upon him. The American flag 
was hailed as a rival to that of England on the seas, and all Europe was 
encouraged to unite against England and force her to abate her arrogant pre- 
tensions, and to accede to a more just and liberal code of international maritime 
law than had before prevailed. In view of this latter fact, this battle must be 
ranked among the three or four most important in the naval history of the 
world. It was this battle that inspired Catharine of Russia to enunciate the 
doctrine of the rights of neutrals in maritime affairs ; and the tardy acquiescence 
of England, eighty years later, in that now universal principle, was brought 
about by the blow struck by John Paul Jones off Flamborough Head. 

There were no other naval operations of importance during the Revolution, 
save those of the French fleet at Yorktown. But soon after the declaration of 
peace, new complications arose, threatening a war at sea. England and France 
were fighting each other, and commerce was therefore diverted to the shipping 
of other nations. A very large share of Europe's carrying trade was done by 
A.merican vessels. But these were between two fires. England insisted that 
she had a right to stop and search American ships and take from them all 
sailors of English birth ; actually taking whom she pleased ; and France made 
free to seize any American ships she pleased, under the pretext that there were 
English goods aboard ; and when she captured an English ship and found on 
board an American seaman who had been impressed, instead of treating him 
as a prisoner of war, like the others, she hanged him as a pirate. 

Naturally indignation rose high, and preparations were made for war with 
France. In July, 1798, the three famous frigates, the "Constellation," the "United 
States," and the "Constitution," best known as "Old Ironsides," were sent to sea, 
and Congress authorized the navy to be increased to include six frigates, twelve 
sloops, and six smaller craft. Among the officers commissioned, were the illus- 
trious Bainbridge, Hull, Decatur, Rodgers, and Stewart. Actual hostilities soon 
began. French piratical cruisers were captured, and an American squadron 
sailed for the West Indies to deal with the French privateers that abounded 
there, in which work it was generally successful. In January, 1 799, Congress 
voted a million dollars, for building six ships of the line and six sloops. Soon 
after, on February 9, occurred the first engagement between vessels of the 
American and French navies. The " Constellation," Captain Truxton, over- 
hauled " L'Insurgente," at St. Kitts, in the West Indies, and after a fight of an 
hour and a quarter forced her to surrender. The " Constellation " had three 


men killed and one wounded ; " L'Insurgente " twenty killed and forty-six 

Again, on February i, 1800, Truxton with the " Constellation " came up, at 
Guadeloupe, with the French Frigate " La Vengeance." After chasing her two 
days he brought on an action. The two ships fought all night. In the 
morning, "La Vengeance," completely silenced and shattered, drew away and 
escaped to Curacoa, where she was condemned as unfit for further service. 
The " Constellation " was little injured save in her rigging. For his gallantry, 
Truxton received a gold medal from Congress. Later in that year there 
were some minor engagements, in which Americans were successful. 

By the spring of 1801, friendly relations with France were restored. The 
President was accordingly authorized to dispose of all the navy, save thirteen 
ships, six of which were to be kept constantly in commission, and to dismiss 
from the service all officers save nine captains, thirty-six lieutenants, and one 
hundred and fifty midshipmen. At about this time ground was purchased and 
navy-yards established at Portsmouth, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Wash- 
ington and Norfolk, and half a million dollars was appropriated for the 
completion of six seventy-four gun ships. 

Now came on r^al war. For many years the pirate ships of the Barbary 
States, Algeria and Tripoli, had been the scourge of the Mediterranean. The 
commerce of every land had suffered. European powers did not venture to 
suppress the evil, but some of them basely purchased immunity by paying 
tribute to the pirates. America, too, at first followed this humiliating course, 
actually thus paying millions of dollars. In September, 1 800, Captain Bainbridge 
went with the frigate " George Washington " to bear to the Dey of Algeria the 
annual tribute. The Dey took the money, and then impressed Bainbridge and 
his ship into his own service for a time, to go on an errand to Constantinople. 
Bainbridge reported this to Congress, adding, " I hope I shall never again be 
sent with tribute, unless to deliver it from the mouth of our cannon." However, 
Bainbridge was received courteously at Constantinople, and his ship was the 
first to display the American flag there. 

Captain Dale was sent with a squadron to the Mediterranean in 1801, to 
repress the pirates of Tripoli. One of his ships, the schooner "Experiment," 
captured a Tripolitan cruiser, and this checked for a time the ardor of the pirates. 
But open war was soon declared between the two countries, and Congress 
authorized the sending of a larger fleet to the Mediterranean. The gallant 
Truxton was offered the command of it, but declined because the cheese-paring 
Administration was too parsimonious to allow him a proper staff of subordinates. 
Thereupon he was dismissed from the service, and Captain Morris sent in his 
place. But false economy had so enfeebled the navy that the fleet was able to 
do little. One Tripolitan ship was captured, however, and another destroyed. 


Then the Government woke up, and began building new ships, and sent 
another rquadron over, led by Preble with the " Constitution." He went first 
to Morocco, whose Sultan at once sued for peace ; and then proceeded to 
Tripoli. Here he found that the frigate "Philadelphia," with Bainbridge and 
three hundred men aboard, had been captured and was being refitted by the 
Tripolitans for their own use. Decatur, commanding the " Enterprise," under 
Preble, determined upon a bold counter-stroke. Taking a small vessel, the 
"Intrepid," which he had captured from Tripoli, he sailed boldly into the 
harbor, flying the Tripolitan flag and pretending to be a merchant of that 
country. Running alongside the " Philadelphia," he boarded her, set her afire, 
and sailed away in safety, though amid a storm of shot and shell. The " Phila- 
delphia " was burned to the water's edge. 

Nothing more was done at the time, however, save to keep up a blockade, 
and Bainbridge and his men remained in captivity. In August, 1804, Preble and 
Decatur made a vigorous attack upon the harbor, and destroyed two and 
captured three vessels. A few days later other attacks were made. Then a 
new squadron under Commodore Barron came to the scene, and Preble was 
superseded. No other naval operations of importance occurred, and peace was 
finally concluded in 1805. 

Troubles with England now grew more serious. That country persisted in 
searching American ships and taking from them all whom she chose to call 
deserters from the British service. And so the two powers drifted into the war 
of 181 2. In that struggle, the Americans were badly worsted on land, but won 
victories of the first magnitude on the lakes and ocean. America had only 
nine frigates and a score of smaller craft, while England had a hundred ships of 
the line. Yet the honors of the war on the sea rested with the former. Her 
triumphs startled the world. The destruction of the "Guerriere" by the 
"Constitution," Captain Hull, marked an epoch in naval history. Then the 
" United States," Captain Decatur, vanquished the " Macedonian ;" the 
"Wasp," Captain Jones, the "Frolic ;" the "Constitution," Captain Bainbridge, 
the "Java;" and the " Hornet" the "Peacock." On Lake Erie, Commodore 
Perry won a great victory, which he announced. in the famous message, "We 
have met the enemy, and they are ours." Equally brilliant was the victory of 
MacDonough on Lake Champlain. The most deplorable reverse was the 
destruction of the "Chesapeake" by the British ship "Shannon," the "Chesa- 
peake's" commander, Lawrence, losing his life, but winning fame through his 
dying words, " Don't give up the ship !" 

The conflicts of this war are more fully detailed elsewhere in this volume. 
It is needful here only to mention them briefly, as we have done. The cause of 
the surprising successes of the Americans may well be explained, however. 
It was due to that very inventive ingenuity that has made the history of the 


world's industrial progress so largely a mere chronicle of "Yankee notions." 
The Americans had invented and were using sights on their cannon. That was 
all. But the result was that their aim was far more accurate and their fire far 
more effective than that of their opponents. This advantage, added to courage 
and skill in seamanship equal to any the world had known, gave them their 

This war was ended in February, 1815, and a month later another was 
begun. This was against the Dey of Algeria, who had broken the peace and 
seized an American ship, despite the fact that America had continued down to 
this time to pay tribute to him. It was now determined to make an end of the 
business ; so Bainbridge was sent, as he had requested, to deliver the final 
tribute from his cannons' mouths. Before he got there, however, Decatur, did 
the work. He captured an Algerine vessel ; sailed into port and dictated an 
honorable peace ; and then imposed like terms on Tripoli and Tunis, thus 
ending the tyranny of the Barbary States over the commerce of the world. 

Thereafter for many years the navy had not much to do. Some vessels were 
used for purposes of exploration and research, and much was thereby added to 
the scientific knowledge of the world. During the Mexican war, naval opera 
tions were unimportant. But in 1846 complications with Japan were begun. 
In that year two ships were sent to the Island empire, on an errand of peaceful 
negotiation, which proved fruitless. Three years later another went, on a 
sterner errand, and rescued at the cannon's mouth a number of shipwrecked 
American sailors who had been thrown into captivity. 

Finally the task of "opening Japan" to intercourse with the rest of the 
world, a task no other power had ventured to assume, was undertaken by 
America. On November 24, 1852, Commodore Perry set sail thither, with a 
powerful fleet. His commission was to "open Japan"; by peaceful diplomacy 
if he could, by force of arms if he must. The simple show of force was 
sufficient, and in 1854, he returned in triumph, bearing a treaty with Japan. 

The most extended and important services of the United States navy were 
performed during the War of the Rebellion At the outbreak of that conflict, 
in 1 86 1, the whole navy comprised only forty-two vessels in commission. 
Nearly all of these were scattered in distant parts of the world, where they had 
been purposely sent by the conspirators at Washington. Most of those that 
remained were destroyed in port, so that there was actually for a time only one 
serviceable war-ship on the North Atlantic coast. But building and purchase 
soon increased the navy, so that before the end of the year it numbered two 
hundred and sixty-four, and was able to blockade all the ports of the Southern 
Confederacy. They were a motley set, vessels of every imaginable type, ferry- 
boats and freight steamers, even, being pressed into use ; but they served. 

The first important naval action was that at Hatteras Inlet, in August, 1861. 


There Commodore Stringham, with a fleet of steam and saUing craft, bombarded 
a series of powerful forts and forced them to surrender, without the loss of a single 
man aboard the ships. Next came the storming of Port Royal. At the end of 
October Commodore Dupont and Commander Rodgers went thither with a 
strong squadron. They entered the harbor, and formed with their ships an 
ellipse, which kept constantly revolving, opposite the forts, and constantly pouring 
in a murderous fire. It was earthworks on land against old-fashioned wooden 
ships on the water ; but the ships won, and the forts surrendered. A small 
flotilla of rebel gunboats came to the assistance of the forts, but were quickly 
repulsed by the heavy fire from the ships. 

The next year saw much naval activity in many quarters. The blockade 
of all Southern ports was rigorously maintained, and there were some exciting 
engagements between the national ships and blockade runners. On the 
Cumberland, Ohio, Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers the gunboats of Foote 
and Porter greatly aided the land forces, in the campaigns against Fort Henry 
and Fort Donelson, at Island No. 10, and Vicksburg. Roanoke Island and 
New Berne, on the Carolina coast, were taken by a combined naval and military 

One of the most striking events of the war was the entrance of the Mississippi 
and capture of New Orleans by Admiral Farragut. He had a fleet of forty 
vessels, all told. Opposed to him were two great and strong land forts, Jackson 
and St. Philip, one on each side of the river, mounting two hundred and twenty- 
five guns. From one to the other stretched a ponderous iron chain, completely 
barring the passage, and beyond this was a fleet of iron-clad gun-boats, fire- 
ships, etc. Military and naval authorities scouted the idea that Farragut's 
wooden ships could ever fight their way through. But Farragut quietly scouted 
the authorities. Making his way up to within range of the forts he began a 
bombardment. On the first day his guns threw 2000 shells at the enemy. 
A huge fire-raft was sent against him, but his ships avoided it and it passed 
harmlessly by. Another was sent down that night, a floating mountain of flame. 
But one of Farragut's captains deliberately ran his ship into it, turned a hose 
upon it, and towed it out of the way ! 

For a week the tremendous bombardment was kept up, 16,800 shells being 
thrown at the forts. Then Farragut cut the chain, and started to run the fiery 
gauntlet of the forts with his fleet. Before daylight one morning the mortar- 
boats opened a furious fire, under cover of which the ships steamed straight up 
the river. The forts opened on them with every gun, a perfect storm of shot 
and shell, and the ships replied with full broadsides. Five hundred cannon 
were thundering. One ship was disabled and dropped back. The rest swept 
on in a cloud of flame. Before they were past the forts, fire-ships came down 
upon them, and iron-clad gunboats attacked them. The "Varuna," Captain 



Boggs, was surrounded by five rebel gunboats, and sank them all. As the last 
of them sank, a sixth, a huge iron-clad ram, came rushing upon the "Varuna." 
Boggs saw he could not escape it, so he turned the " Varuna " so as to receive 
the blow squarely amidships. The ram crushed her like an egg-shell, and in a 
few minutes she sank. But her fearful broadsides, at such close range, riddled 
the ram, and the two went down together. In an hour and a half eleven rebel 
gunboats were sent to the bottom, and the fleet was past the forts. Next 


morning Farragut raised the national flag above the captured city of New 

This tremendous conflict was not, however, the most significant of that 
year. There was another which, in a single hour, revolutionized the art of 
naval warfare. When, at the outbreak of the war, the Norfolk Navy-yard had 
been destroyed to keep it from falling into rebel hands, one ship partially escaped 
the flames. This was the great frigate " Merrimac," probably the finest ship in 


the whole navy. The Confederates took her hull, which remained uninjured, 
and covered it completely with a sloping roof of iron plates four inches thick, 
backed with heavy timbers, put a great iron ram at her bow, and fitted her with 
large guns and powerful engines. Then, to protect her further, she was coated 
thickly with tallow and plumbago. She was regarded as entirely invulnerable 
to cannon-shot, and her builders believed she would easily destroy all ships sent 
against her and place New York and all Northern seaports at the mercy of her 
guns. At the same time a curious little craft was built, hurriedly enough, in 
New York. It was designed by John Ericsson, and was called the " Monitor." 
It consisted of a hull nearly all submerged, its flat iron deck only a few inches 
above the water, and upon this a circular iron tower, which was turned round and 
round by machinery and which carried two large guns. Naval experts laughed 
at the "cheese-box on a plank," as they called it, and thought it unworthy of 
serious consideration. 


At noon of Saturday, March 8, the mighty " Merrimac," a floating fortress 
of iron, came down the Elizabeth River to where the National fleet lay in 
Hampton Roads. The frigate " Congress " fired upon her, but she paid no 
attention to it, but moved on to the sloop-of-war " Cumberland," crushed her side 
in with a blow of her ram, riddled her with cannon-balls, and sent her to the 
bottom. The solid shot from the "Cumberland's" ten-inch guns glanced from 
the " Merrimac's " armor, harmless as so many peas. Then the monster turned 
back to the " Congress " and destroyed her. Next she attacked the frigate 
" Minnesota " and drove her aground, and then retired for the night, intending 
the next day to return, destroy the entire fleet, and proceed northward to 
bombard New York. 

That night the "Monitor" arrived. She had been hurriedly completed. 
She had come down from New York in a storm, and was leaking and her 
machinery was out of order. She was not in condition for service. But she 
was all that lay between the "Merrimac" and the boundless destruction at 
which she aimed. So she anchored at the side of the " Minnesota " and waited 
for daylight. It came, a beautiful Sunday morning ; and down came the huge 
" Merrimac" to continue her deadly work. Out steamed the tiny "Monitor" 
to meet her. The " Merrimac " sought to ignore her, and attacked the " Minne- 
lota." But the "Monitor" would not be ignored. Captain Worden ran her 
alongside the "Merrimac," so that they almost touched, and hurled his i6o-lb. 
shot at the iron monster as rapidly as the two guns could be worked. 
Those' shots, at that range, told, as all the broadsides of the frigates had not. 
The " Merrimac's " armor began to yield, while her own firing had no effect 
upon the " Monitor." It was seldom she could hit the little craft at all, and 
when she did the shots glanced off without harm. Five times she tried to 


ram the "Monitor," but the latter eluded her. A sixth time she tried it, and 
the "Monitor" stood still and let her come on. The great iron beak that 
had crushed in the side of the "Cumberland " merely glanced on the "Moni- 
tor's " armor and glided upon her deck. The " Merrimac " was so hfted 
and tilted as to expose the unarmored part of her hull to the " Monitor's " 
deadly fire, while the "Monitor" quickly slid out from under her, uninjured. 
Then the " Merrimac " retreated up the river, and her career was ended. She 
was a mere wreck. But the " Monitor," though .struck by. twenty-two heavy 
shots, was practically uninjured. The only man hurt on the "Monitor" was 
the gallant Captain Worden. He was looking through the peep-hole when one 
of the " Merrimac's" last shots struck squarely just outside. He was stunned 
by the shock and half-blinded by splinters ; but his first words on regaining 
consciousness were, " Have we saved the ' Minnesota ' ? " 

The "Monitor" had saved the "Minnesota," and all the rest of the fleet, 
and probably many Northern cities. But, more than that, she had, in that grim 
duel, revolutionized naval warfare. In that hour England saw her great ships 
of the line condemned. The splendid frigates, with their tiers of guns, were 
thenceforth out of date and worthless. The "cheese-box on a plank" in a 
single day had vanquished all the navies of the world. 

The success of Farragut in passing the Mississippi forts led Dupont, in 
April, 1863, to attempt in like manner to enter Charleston harbor ; but in vain. 
The fire from the forts was too fierce, and his fleet was forced to fall back with 
heavy losses. But in August, 1864, Farragut repeated his former exploit at 
Mobile. Forming his ships in line of battle, he stood in the rigging of the 
" Hartford," glass in hand, and directed their movements. As Dupont had done 
at Port Royal, he swept round and round in a fiery ellipse. At a critical point in 
the battle the lookout reported, " Torpedoes ahead !" A cry arose to stop the ship. 
"Go ahead! Damn the torpedoes!" roared the great Admiral, and the ship 
went on. Then the hug-e iron ram "Tennessee" came forward, to crush them 
as the "Merrimac" had crushed the "Cumberland." But Farragut, with 
sublime audacity, turned the bow of his wooden ship upon her and ran her 
down. Thus the Mobile forts were silenced and the harbor cleared. Nor 
must the stormingf of Fort Fisher be fororotten. The first attack was made in 
December, 1864. Admiral Porter bombarded the place furiously, and then 
General Butler attempted to take it with land forces. He failed, and returned 
to Fortress Monroe, saying the place could not be taken. But Porter thought 
otherwise, and remained at his post with his fleet. General Terry then went 
down with an army. Porter renewed the bombardment, the fort was captured, 
and the last port of the Confederacy was closed. 

While the National navy was thus carrying all before it along the coast, 
the Confederates were active elsewhere. Their swift, armed cruisers, fitted out 


in English ports, scoured the seas and preyed upon American commerce every- 
where, until the American merchant flag was almost banished from the ocean. 
The most famous of all these cruisers was the "Alabama," commanded by 
Raphael Semmes. During her career she destroyed more than ten million 
dollars' worth of American shipping. For a long time her speed and the skill 
and daring of her commander kept her out of the hands of the American navv 
But at last, in June, 1864, Captain Winslow, with the ship " Kearsarge," cam 
up with her in the neutral harbor of Cherbourg, France. Determined to make 
an end of her, he waited, just outside the harbor, for her to come out. Semmes 
soon accepted the challenge, and the duel occurred on Sunday, June 19. The 
shore was crowded with spectators, and many yachts and other craft came out, 
bearing hundreds anxious to see the battle. The vessels were not far from 
equal in strength. But the "Kearsarge" had two huge eleven-inch pivot guns, 
that made awful havoc on the "Alabama." The "Alabama," on the other 
hand, had more euns than the " Kearsarg^e." But the famous cruiser's time 
had come. As the two ships slowly circled round and round, keeping up a 
constant fire, every shot from the " Kearsarge " seemed to find its mark, while 
those of the "Alabama" went wide. And soon the "Alabama" sank, leaving 
the "Kearsarge" scarcely injured. 

A volume might be filled with accounts of notable exploits of the navy 
which there is not room even to mention here. But one more must be named, 
so daring and so novel was it. In April, 1864, the great iron-clad ram, "Albe- 
marle," was completed by the Confederates and sent forth to drive the National 
vessels from the sounds and harbors of the North Carolina coast. She came 
down the Roanoke River and boldly attacked the fleet, destroying one ship at 
the first onset and damaging others, while showing herself almost invulnerable. 
It was feared that she would actually succeed in raising the blockade, and 
extraordinary efforts were made to destroy her, but without avail. 

At last the job was undertaken by a young officer. Lieutenant Cushing, 
who had already distinguished himself by his daring. He took a small steam 
launch, manned by himself and fifteen others, armed with a howitzer, and 
carrying a large torpedo. The "Albemarle" was at her dock at Plymouth, 
some miles up the river, and botb banks of the narrow stream were closely 
lined with pickets and batteries. On a dark, stormy night the launch steamed 
boldly up the river and got within a short distance of the "Albemarle" before 
it was seen by the pickets. Instantly the alarm was given, and a hail of bullets 
fell upon the launch, doing, however, little harm. Cushing headed straight for 
the huge iron-clad, shouting at the top of his voice, in bravado, " Get off the 
ram ! We're going to blow you up ! " Running the launch up till its bow 
touched the side of the "Albemarle," he thrust the torpedo, at the end of a 
pole, under the latter and fired it. The explosion wrecked the " Albemarle " 


and sank her. The launch was also wrecked, and the sixteen men took to the 
water and sought to escape by swimming. All were, however, captured by the 
Confederates, save four. Of these, two were drowned, and the other two — 
one of them being Gushing himself — reached the other shore and got safely 
back to the fleet. 

We have said that in the spring of 1861 there were only 42 vessels in com 
mission in the navy. There were also 27 serviceable ships not in commission, 
and 2 1 unserviceable, or 90 in all. During the four years of the war there were 
built and added to the navy 125 unarmored and 68 armored vessels, most of the 
latter being of the "Monitor" type. A few figures regarding some of the en- 
gagements will give a vivid idea of the manner in which the ships fought. In 
the futile attack of the iron-clads on the forts in Charleston harbor, April 7, 1863, 
nine vessels took part, using 23 guns and firing 139 times, at from 500 to 2100 
yards range. They hit Fort Wagner twice. Fort Moultrie 12 times, and Fort 
Sumter 55 times, doing little damage. Against them the forts used yj guns, 
firing 2229 times, and hitting the vessels 520 times, but doing little damage 
except to one monitor, which was sunk. In the second bombardment of Fort 
Fisher 21,716 projectiles, solid shot and shell, were thrown by the fleet. 

But the most important thing achieved was the entire transformation effected 
in naval science. Hitherto the war-ship had been simply an armed merchant- 
ship, propelled by sails or, latterly, by steam, carrying a large number of small 
guns. American inventiveness made it, after the duel of the "Monitor" and 
"• Merrimac," a floating fortress of iron or steel, carrying a few enormously heavy 
guns. The glory of the old line-of-battle ship, with three or four tiers of guns 
on each side and a big cloud of canvas overhead, firing rattling broadsides, and 
manoeuvring to get and hold the weather-gauge of the enemy — all that was 
relegated to the past forever. In its place came the engine of war, with little 
pomp and circumstance, but with all the resources of science shut within its ugly, 
black iron hull. 

John Paul Jones, with his " Bon Homme Richard," struck the blow that 
made universal the law of neutrals' rights. Hull, with the " Constitution," send- 
ing a British frigate to the bottom, showed what Yankee ingenuity in sighting 
guns could do. Ericsson and Worden, with the " Monitor," sent wooden navies 
to the hulk-yard and ushered in the era of iron and steel fighting-engines. 
These are the three great naval events of a century. 

One of the most thrilling events in naval history occurred in a time of 
peace. It was in the harbor of Apia, Samoa, in March, 1889. A great storm 
struck the shipping and destroyed nearly every vessel there. Three German 
war-ships were wrecked. One English war-ship, by herculean efforts, was 
saved. Two American war-ships were wrecked, and one was saved after being 
run on the beach. This was the "Nipsic." The wrecked vessels were the 


"Trenton " and the " Vandalia." The combined strength of their engines and 
anchors was not enough to keep them from being driven upon the fateful reefs. 
The " Vandaha " was already stranded and pounding to pieces, and the 
"Trenton" was drifting down upon her. "Suddenly," says a witness of the 
scene, "the Stars and Stripes were seen flying from the gaff of the 'Trenton.' 
Previous to this no vessel in the harbor had raised a flag, as the storm was 
raging so furiously at sunrise that that ceremony was neglected. It seemed now 
as if the gallant ship knew she was doomed, and had determined to go down 
with the flag of her country floating above the storm. Presently the last faint 
ray of daylight faded away, and night came down upon the awful scene. The 
storm was still raging with as much fury as at any time during the day. The 
poor creatures who had been clinging for hours to the rigging of the ' Vandalia ' 
were bruised and bleeding, but they held on with the desperation of men who 
hang by a thread between Hfe and death. The ropes had cut the flesh of their 
arms and legs, and their eyes were blinded by the salt spray which swept over 
them. Weak and exhausted as they were, they would be unable to stand the 
terrible strain much longer. They looked down upon the angry water below 
them, and knew that they had no strength left to battle with the waves. Their 
final hour seemed to be upon them. The great black hull of the ' Trenton ' 
could be seen through the darkness, almost ready to crush into the stranded 
' Vandalia ' and grind her to atoms. Suddenly a shout was borne across the 
waters. The 'Trenton' was cheering the ' Vandalia.' The sound of 450 
voices broke upon the air and was heard above the roar of the tempest. ' Three 
cheers for the " Vandalia ! " ' was the cry that warmed the hearts of the dying 
men in the rigging. The shout died away upon the storm, and there arose from 
the quivering masts of the sunken ship a response so feeble that it was scarcely 
heard on shore. The men who felt that they were looking death in the face 
aroused themselves to the effort and united in a faint cheer to the flagship. 
Those who were standing on shore listened in silence, for that feeble cry was 
the saddest they had ever heard. Every heart was melted to pity. ' God help 
them ! ' was passed from one man to another. The sound of music next came 
across the water. The ' Trenton's ' band was playing ' The Star Spangled 
Banner.' The thousand men on sea and shore had never before heard strains 
of music at such a time as this." And so the good ships went to wreck, and 
many a life was lost ; but a standard of endurance and of valor was there set up 
that shall command the reverence and wonder of the world as long as time shall 

During fifteen years of peace, following the War of the Rebellion, the navy 
was much neglected. JMo new ships were built, and the old ones fell into decay. 
In 1881, however, William H. Hunt, Secretary of the Navy appointed an 
Advisory Board to plan the building of a new navy adequate to the needs of the 


nation. From the deliberations of this Board and its successor, appointed 
by Secretary Chandler, sprang the splendid new fleet. The Board recom- 
mended the construction of four steel vessels : the "Chicago," of 4500 tons 
displacement; the " Boston " and "Atlanta," of 3189 tons displacement each, 
and the "Dolphin," of 1485 tons displacement. The dates of the acts author- 
izing these vessels were August 5, 1882, and March 3, 1883, ^.nd the contracts 
were taken for all four vessels by John Roach & Sons in July, 1883. 

The pioneer of the new steel navy was the " Dolphin." Although classed 
as a " dispatch boat " in the Navy Register, she has well earned the title of a 
first-class cruiser, and would be so classed if she had the tonnage displacement, 
since she made a most successful cruise around the world, traversing 52,000 
miles of sea without a single mishap. The " Dolphin " was launched April 21, 
and she was finished in November, 1884, and although no material changes 
were made in her she was kept in continuous service for nearly six years. 
After her trip around Cape Horn, and after ten months hard cruising, she was 
thoroughly surveyed, and there was not a plate displaced, nor a rivet loosened, 
nor a timber strained, nor a spar out of gear. At the end of her cruise around 
the world she was pronounced "the stanchest dispatch-boat in any navy of the 

The " Dolphin " is a single-screw vessel of the following dimensions : 
Length over all, 26^j4 feet; breadth of beam, 32 feet; mean draught, 14^ 
feet; displacement, 1485 tons. Her armament consists of two four-inch rapid- 
firing guns ; two six-pounder rapid-firing guns ; four forty-seven-millimeter 
Hotchkiss revolvinof cannon, and two Gatline o-uns. She is also fitted with 
torpedo tubes. Her cost, exclusive of her guns, was ^315,000. Her comple- 
ment of crew consists of 10 officers and 98 enlisted men. 

The first four vessels were called the "A, B, C, and D of the New Navy," 
because of the first letters of their names — the " Atlanta," " Boston," " Chicago," 
and "Dolphin." The "Atlanta" and "Boston" are sister ships — that is, they 
were built from the same designs and their plates, etc., were moulded from the 
same patterns and they carry the same armament — hence a description of one 
is a description of the other. They followed the " Dolphin " in service, the 
"Atlanta" being launched on October 9, 1884, and the " Boston " on December 
4, 1884. The "Atlanta" cost ^619,000 and the "Boston" ^617,000. The 
official description of these vessels is that they "are central superstructure, 
single-deck, steel cruisers." Their dimensions are : Length over all, 283 feet ; 
breadth of beam, 42 feet; mean draught, 17 feet; displacement, 3189 tons; 
sail area, 10,400 square feet. The armament of each consists of two eight-inch 
and six six-inch breech-loading rifles ; two six-pounder, two two-pounder, and two 
one-pounder rapid-firing guns ; two 47-millimeter and two 37-millimeter Hotch- 
kiss revolving cannon, two Catling guns, and a set of torpedo-firing tubes. 


Larger and finer still is the " Chicago," the flagship of the fleet, which was 
launched on December 5, 1885. She was the first vessel of the navy to have 
heavy guns mounted in half turrets, her four eight-inch cannon being carried on 
the spar-deck in half turrets built out from the ship's side, the guns being 
twenty-four and a-half feet above the water and together commanding the entire 
horizon. There are six six-inch guns in the broadside ports of the gun-deck 
and a six-inch gun on each bow. There are also two five-inch guns aft in the 
after portion of the cabin. Her secondary battery is two Catlings, two six- 
pounders, two one-pounders, two 47-millimeter revolving cannon, and two 
37-millimeter revolving cannon. 

This auspicious start being made, the work of building the new navy went 
steadily on. Next came the protected cruisers "Baltimore," "Charleston," 
"Newark," "San Francisco," and "Philadelphia," big steel ships, costing from 
a million to nearly a million and a half dollars each. Much smaller cruisers, or 
gunboats, were the "Yorktown," "Concord," and "Bennington," and, smallest 
of all, the " Petrel." All these ships, though varying in size, are of the same 
general type. They are not heavily armored, and are not regarded as regular 
battle-ships, yet could doubtless give a good account of themselves in any 
conflict. They are chiefly intended, however, as auxiliaries to the real fighters, 
and as cruisers, commerce destroyers, etc. 

The "Vesuvius," launched in April, 1888, is a "dynamite cruiser," a 
small, swift vessel, carrying three huge guns, each of fifteen inches bore, pointing 
directly forward and upward. From these, charges of dynamite are to be fired 
by compressed air. The " Cushing " is a swift torpedo boat, with three tubes 
for discharging the deadly missiles. It was launched in 1 890, and named after 
the intrepid destroyer of the "Albemarle," whose feat has already been 
described. The " Stiletto " is a very small, wooden torpedo boat, of very 
great speed. 

The new navy also contains a number of vessels intended for coast-defense, 
heavily armored for hard fighting. The " Monterey " is a vessel of the 
"Monitor" type invented by Ericsson. It has two turrets, or barbettes, each 
carrying two twelve-inch guns, and protected by from eleven to thirteen inches 
of armor. The bow is provided with a ram. The "Puritan" is a vessel of 
similar design, with fourteen inches of armor. Besides the four bio- auns there 
is a secondary battery of twelve rapid-firing guns, four Hotchkiss revolving 
cannon, and four Catling guns. The " Miantonomah " is another double- 
turreted monitor. Her four ten-inch rifles have an effective ranae of thirteen 
miles, and she has a powerful secondary battery. Her big guns can send a five 
hundred-pound bolt of metal through twenty inches of armor, and she is herself 
heavily armored. This is a singularly powerful battle-ship, and would probably 



prove a match for any war-ship in the world. Several similar vessels are now 
under construction. 

The "Maine" is a heavily-armored cruiser, and while intended for sea- 
going, is really a battle-ship. It has eleven inches of armor and carries four 
ten-inch rifles, besides numerous smaller guns. The "Texas " is a similar ship. 
The "Detroit," "Montgomery," and " Marblehead," not yet completed, are 
small, partially armored cruisers. The "New York" is a mighty armored 
cruiser, believed to surpass any other ship ever built in the combination of offen- 


sive and defensive power, coal endurance, and speed. She is 380 feet 6)4. inches 
long; steams 20 knots per hour; can go 13,000 miles without coaling; has 
from six to eight inches of armor, and carries six eight-inch and twelve four-inch 
rifles, and numerous smaller guns. 

The "Raleigh " and " Cincinnati " are protected cruisers of medium size. 
There are several other cruisers, not yet named, especially designed as com- 
merce-destroyers, having great speed, and being made to look as much like 
merchant-ships as possible. Other gunboats and battle-ships are also being 
built ; one pracUce cruiser, intended for a school-ship, and a harbor-defense 


ram, carrying no guns, but provided with a particularly ugly beak at the bow. 
Altogether, the new navy, built or building, down to the present date comprises 
thirteen armored battle-ships, seventeen unarmored but " protected " cruisers,^ 
and six gunboats, all of them fully equal to any ships of their class in the^ 

In scarcely any department of human industry are the changes produced 
by the progress of civilization more strikingly seen than in the navy. When 
America was discovered, the galleon and the caravel were the standard war- 
ships of the world — clumsy wooden tubs, towering high in air, propelled by 
sails and even oars, with a large number of small cannons, and men armed 
with muskets and cross-bows. Such was the famed Armada, "that great fleet 
invincible," that was vanquished by the smaller, lighter crafts of Britain. Four 
hundred years have passed, and what is the war-ship of to-day ? A low-lying 
hulk of iron and steel ; armed with a few big guns, one of which throws a 
heavier shot than a galleon's whole broadside ; driven resistlessly through the 
water by mighty steam engines ; lighted and steered by electric apparatus, and 
using an electric search-light that makes midnight as bright as day. All the 
triumphs of science and mechanic arts have contributed to the perfection of 
these dreadful sea monsters, a single one of which could have destroyed the 
whole Armada in an hour, and laughed to scorn the mieht of Nelson inTrafalear 
Bay. What the locomotive is to the stage-coach, that is the " Miantonomah " 
or the " New York " to the " San Philip " or the " Revenge." 



N a bright spring morning, the date, April 30, 1789, amid 
the booming of cannon, the plaudits of the multitude, and 
the general rejoicing of the people of the whole country, 
Washington had been inaugurated President of the United 
States. That day saw one of the most significant events 
accomplished in the history of the world ; for there in the city 
of New York, where the inauguration took place, a nation was 
born in a day. The old Confederacy was gone : the new nation stood forth 
" like a giant ready to run a race." And what a race it has run since that time 
History has told. 

It would be strange irideed if the peace that then brooded over the country 
was to become unbroken, perpetual. No nation up to that time had made such 
a record, which might well be considered as heralding the Millennium ; and the 
United States was destined to prove no exception to the course marked out by 
all other empires since the government of the State had supplanted that of the 
tribe and clan. The fact is, the seeds of conflict were already sown and were 
destined to bear fruit, both in civil and foreign war. 


If the reader will look at any map of Africa he will see on the northern 
coast, defining the southern limits of the Mediterranean, four States, Morocco, 
Algeria, Tunis, and Tripoli, running east and west a distance of 1800 miles. 
These powers had for centuries maintained a state of semi-independency by 
paying tribute to Turkey. But this did not suit Algeria, the strongest and 
most warlike of the North African States; and in the year 1710 the natives 
overthrew the rule of the Turkish Pasha, expelled him from the country, and 
united his office to that of the Dey. The Dey thus governed the country by 
means of a Divan or Council of State chosen from the principal civic function- 
aries. The Algerians, with the other " Barbary States," as the piratical States 
were called, defied the Powers of Europe. France alone successfully resisted 



these depredations, but only partially, for after she had repeatedly chastised the 
Algerians, the strongest of the northern piratical States, and had induced the 
Dey to sign a treaty of peace, they would bide their time, and after a time return 
to their bloody work. It was Algiers which was destined to force the United 
States to resort to arms in the defense of its persecuted countrymen ; the result 
is a matter of history. 

The truth is, this conflict was no less irrepressible than that greater conflict 
which a century later deluged the land in blood. For, before the Constitution 
had been adopted, two American vessels flying the flag of thirteen stripes and 
only thirteen stars, instead of the forty-four which now form our national con- 
stellation, while sailing the Mediterranean had fallen a prey to the swift, heavily 
armed Algerian cruisers. The vessels were confiscated and the crews, to the 
number of twenty-one persons, had been held for ransom, for which an enormous 
sum was demanded. 

This sum our Government had been unwilling to pay, as to do so would be to 
establish a precedent not only with Algeria, but with Tunis, Tripoli, and Morocco 
as well, for each of these African piratical States was in league with the others, 
and all had to be separately conciliated. 

But, after all, what else could the Government do? The country had no 
navy. It could not undertake in improvised ships to go forth and fight the swift, 
heavily armed cruisers of the African pirates — States so strong that the 
commercial nations were glad to win exemption from their depredations by 
annual payments. Why not, then, ransom these American captives by the 
payment of money and construct a navy sufficientlystrong to resist their en- 
croachments in the future? This feeling on the part of the Government was 
shared by the people of the country, and so it was. Congress finally authorized 
the building of six frigates, and by another act empowered President Washing- 
ton to borrow a million of dollars for purchasing peace. Eventually the money 
was paid to all the four Powers, and it was hoped all difiiculty was at an end. 
The work of constructing the new war-ships was pushed with expedition, and 
as will be seen, it was well that it was so. 

We are now brought to the year 1800. Tripoli, angry at not receiving as 
much money as was paid to Algiers, declared war against the United States ; 
but now circumstances had changed for the better. For our new navy, a small 
but most efficient one, was completed, and a squadron consisting of the frigates 
"Essex," Captain Bainbridge, the "Philadelphia," the "President," and the 
schooner "Experiment," was in Mediterranean waters. Two TripoHtan cruisers 
lying at Gibraltar on the watch for American vessels, were blockaded by the 
" Philadelphia." Cruising off Tripoli the " Experiment " fell in with a TripoHtan 
cruiser of fourteen guns, and after three hours' hard fighting captured her. The 
Tripolitans lost twenty killed and thirty wounded ; this brilliant result had a 
marked effect in quieting the turbulent pirates. 



But peace was not yet assured. In 18 15, while this country was at 
war with England, the Dey of Algiers unceremoniously dismissed the 
American Consul and declared war against the United States ; and alL 
because he had not received the articles demanded under the tribute treaty.. 
This time the Government was well prepared for the issue. The population 
of the country had increased to over eight millions. The military spirit 
of the nation had been aroused by the war with Great Britain, ending in the 
splendid victory at New Orleans under General Jackson. Besides this, the 
navy had been increased and made far more effective. The Administration, 


with Madison at its head, decided to submit to no further extortions from the 
Mediterranean pirates, and the President sent in a forcible message to Congress 
on the subject, taking high American ground. The result was a prompt 
acceptance of the Algerian declaration of war. Events succeeded each other in 
rapid succession. Ships new and old were at once fitted out. On May 15, 181 5, 
Decatur sailed from New York to the Mediterranean. His squadron comprised 
the frigates "Guerriere," "Macedonian," and "Constellation," the new sloop of 
war " Ontario," and four brigs and two schooners in addition. 

On June 1 7, the second day after entering the Mediterranean, Decatur 


captured the largest frigate in the Algerian navy, having forty-four guns. Tfie 
next day an Algerian brig was taken, and in less than two weeks after his first 
capture Decatur, with his entire squadron, appeared off Algiers. The end had 
come ! The Dey's courage, like that of Bob Acres, oozed out at his fingers' 
ends. The terrified Dey sued for peace, which Decatur compelled him to sign 
on the quarter-deck of the " Guerriere." In this treaty it was agreed by the 
Dey to surrender all prisoners, pay a heavy indemnity, and renounce all tribute 
from America in the future. Decatur also secured indemnity from Tunis and 
Tripoli for American vessels captured under the guns of their forts by British 
cruisers duringr the late war. 

This ended at once and forever the payment of tribute to the piratical 
States of North Africa. All Europe, as well as our own country, rang with the 
splendid achievements of our navy ; and surely the stars and stripes had never 
before floated more proudly fron: the mast-head of an American vessel, and they 
are flying as proudly to-day. 


It was seventeen years later, in 1832, under the administration of General 
Jackson, that one of the most interesting cases of difficulty with a foreign power 
arose. As with Algeria and Tripoli, so now, our navy was resorted to for the 
purpose of exacting reparation. This time the trouble was with Italy, or rather 
that part of Italy known at that time as the Kingdom of Naples, which had been 
wrested from Spain by Napoleon, who placed successively his brother Joseph 
and Murat, Prince, Marshal of France, and brother-in-law of Napoleon, on the 
throne of Naples and the two Sicilies. During the years 1809-12 the Neapolitan 
Government under Joseph and Murat successively had confiscated numerous 
American ships with their cargoes. The total amount of the American claims 
against Naples, as filed in the State Department, when Jackson's Administration 
assumed control, was ^1,734,994. They were held by various insurance com- 
panies and by citizens, principally of Baltimore. Demands for the payment of 
these claims had from time to time been made by our Government, but Naples 
had always refused to settle them. 

Jackson and his Cabinet took a decided stand, and determined that the 
Neapolitan Government, then in the hands of Ferdinand II — subsequently nick- 
named Bomba because of his cruelties — should make due reparation for the 
losses sustained by American citizens. The Hon. John Nelson, of Frederick, 
Maryland, was appointed Minister to Naples and ordered to insist upon a 
settlement. Commodore Daniel Patterson,* who aided in the defense of New 

* Daniel T. Patterson was born on Long Island, New York, March 6, 1786; was appointed 
midshipman in the navy, 1800; was attached to the frigate "Philadelphia" when she ran upon a 
reef near Tripoli ; was captured and a prisoner until 1805 ; was made lieutenant in 1807 and 



Orleans in 1S15, was put in command of the Mediterranean squadron and 
ordered to cooperate with Minister Nelson in enforcing his demands. But 
Naples persisted in her refusal to render satisfaction, and a warlike demonstra- 
tion was decided upon, the whole matter being placed, under instructions, in the 
hands of Commodore Patterson. 

The entire force at his command consisted of three fifty-gun frigates and 
three twenty-gun corvettes. So as not to precipitate matters too hastily, the 
plan was for three vessels to appear in the Neapolitan waters, one at a time, and 


instructions were given accordingly. The " Brandywine," with Minister Nelson 
on board, went first. Mr. Nelson repeated the demands for a settlement, and 
they were refused : there was nothing in the appearance of a Yankee envoy and 
a single ship to trouble King Bomba and his little kingdom. The " Brandy- 
master-commandant in 1813. In 1814 he won great credit as commander of naval forces at New 
Orleans, and received the thanks of Congress. He commanded the flotilla which destroyed the fort 
and defenses of Lafitte, the pirate. He was made captain in 1815 ; Navy Commissioner, 1828 to 
1832, and commanded the Mediterranean Squadron, 1832-1835. He died on August 15, 1839, 
being then in command of the Washington Navy Yard. 


^wine" cast anchor in the harbor and the humbled Envoy waited patiently for a 
ifew days. Then another American flag appeared on the horizon, and the frigate 
"United States" floated into the harbor and came to anchor. Mr. Nelson 
repeated his demands, and they were again refused. Four days slipped away, 
and the stars and stripes again appeared off the harbor. King Bomba, looking 
out from his palace windows, saw the fifty-gun frigate " Concord " sail into the 
harbor and drop her anchor. Then unmistakable signs of uneasiness began to 
show themselves. Forts were repaired, troops drilled, and more cannon mounted 
on the coast. The demands were reiterated, but the Neapolitan Government 
still refused. Two days later another war-ship made her way into the harbor. 
It was the "John Adams." When the fifth ship sailed gallantly in, the Bourbon 
Government seemed almost on the point of yielding ; but three days later Mr. 
Nelson sent word home that he was still unable to collect the bill. But the end 
was not yet. Three days later, and the sixth sail showed itself on the blue 
waters of the peerless bay. It was the handwriting on the wall for King Bomba, 
•.and his Government announced that they would accede to the American 
'demands. The negotiations were promptly resumed and speedily closed, the 
jpayment of the principal in installments with interest being guaranteed. 
Pending negotiations, from August 28 to September 15 the entire squadron 
remained in the Bay of Naples, and then the ships sailed away and separated. 
So, happily and bloodlessly, ended a difficulty which at one time threatened most 
•serious results. 


Another demonstration, less imposing in numbers but quite as spirited, and, 
"indeed, more intensely dramatic, occurred at Smyrna in 1853, when Captain Dun- 
can N. Ingraham, with a single sloop-of-war, trained his broadsides on a fleet of 
Austrian war-ships in the harbor. The episode was a most thrilling one, and 
"The Story of America " would indeed be incomplete were so dramatic an affair 
left unrecorded on its pages. And this is the record : — 

When the revolution of Hungary against Austria was put down, Kossuth, 
Koszta, and other leading revolutionists fled to Smyrna, and the Turkish Gov- 
■ ernment, after long negotiations, refused to give them up. Koszta soon after 
came to the United States, and in July, 1852, declared under oath his intention 
of becoming an American citizen. He resided in New York city a year 
and eleven months. 

The next year Koszta went to Smyrna on business, where he remained for 
a time undisturbed. He had so inflamed the Austrian Government against him, 
however, that a plot was formed to capture him. On June 21, 1853, while he 
was seated on the Marina, a public resort in Smyrna, a band of Greek mercen- 
aries, hired by the Austrian Consul, seized him and carried him off to an 
.Austrian ship-of-wai;, .the Huzzar, then lying in the harbor. On board the vessel 



Archduke John, brother of the 
Emperor, was said to be in 
command. Koszta was put 
in irons and treated as a 
criminal. The next day an 
American sloop-of war, the 
"St. Louis," commanded by 
Capt. Duncan N. Ingraham, * 
sailed into the harbor. Learn- 
ing what had happened, Capt. 
Ingraham immediately sent 
on board the " Huzzar " and 
courteously asked permission 
to see Koszta. His request 
was granted, and Captain 
Ingraham assured himself 
that Koszta was entitled to 
the protection of the Ameri- 
can flag. He demanded 
Koszta's release of the Aus- 
trian commander. When it 
was refused he communi- 
cated with the nearest United 
States official, Consul Brown, 
at Constantinople. While he 
was waiting for an answer 
six Austrian war-ships sailed 

* Duncan Nathaniel Ingraham 
was born December 6, 1802, at 
Charleston, South Carolina. He 
entered the United States Navy in 
1812 as midshipman, and became a 
captain September 14, 1855. In 
March, 1856, he was appointed Chief 
of the Bureau of Ordnance and Hy- 
drography of the Navy Department, 
a position which he held until South 
Carolina passed her ordinance of 
secession in i860. He then resigned 
his commission in the navy and took 
service under the Confederate States, 
in which he rose to the rank of 
ComrHodore. He died in 1891. 


into the harbor and came to anchor in positions near the " Huzzar." On June 
29th, before Captain Ingraham had received any answer from the American 
Consul, he noticed unusual signs of activity on board the " Huzzar," and before 
long she began to get under way. The American Captain made up his mind 
immediately. He put the " St. Louis " straight in the " Huzzar's " course and 
cleared his guns for action. The "Huzzar" hove to, and Captain Ingraham 
went on board and demanded the meaning of the " Huzzar's " action. 

"We propose to sail for home," replied the Austrian. "The Consul has 
ordered us to take our prisoner to Austria." 

" You will pardon me," said Captain Ingraham, " but if you attempt to leave 
this port with that American on board I shall be compelled to resort to e.xtreme 

The Austrian glanced around at the fleet of Austrian war-ships and the 
single American sloop-of-war. Then he smiled pleasantly, and intimated that 
the " Huzzar" would do as she pleased. 

Captain Ingraham bowed and returned to the "St. Louis." He had no 
sooner reached her deck than he called out : " Clear the guns for action ! " 

The Archduke of Austria saw the batteries of the " St. Louis " turned on 
him, and he realized that he was in the wrong. The " Huzzar" was put about 
and sailed back to her old anchorage. Word was sent to Captain Ingraham 
that the Austrian would await the arrival of the note from Mr. Brown. 

The Consul's note, which came on July ist, commended Captain Ingraham's 
course and advised him to take whatever action he thouorht the situation 

At eight o'clock on the morning of July 2d, Captain Ingraham sent a note 
to the commander of the "Huzzar," formally demanding the release of Mr. 
Koszta. Unless the prisoner was delivered on board the "St. Louis" before 
four o'clock the next afternoon, Captain Ingraham would take him from the 
Austrians by force. The Archduke sent back a formal refusal. At eight o'clock 
the next morning Captain Ingraham once more ordered the decks cleared for 
action and trained his batteries on the "Huzzar." The seven Austrian war- 
vessels cleared their decks and put their men at the guns. 

At ten o'clock an Austrian officer came to Captain Ingraham and began to 
temporize. Captain Ingraham refused to listen to him. 

"To avoid the worst," he said, " I will agree to let the man be delivered to 
the French Consul at Smyrna until you have opportunity to communicate with 
your Government. But he must be delivered there, or I will take him. I have 
stated the time." 

At twelve o'clock a boat left the " Huzzar" with Koszta in it, and an hour 
later the French Consul sent word that Koszta was in his keeping. Then 
several of the Austrian war-vessels sailed out of the harbor. Long negotiations 



between the two Governments followed, and in the end Austria admitted that 
the United States was in the right, and apologized. 

Scarcely had the plaudits which greeted Captain Ingraham's intrepid course 
died away, when, the next year, another occasion arose where our Government 
was obliged to resort to the force of arms. This time Nicaragua was the country 
involved. Early in June, 1854, after repeated but unsuccessful attempts at a 
settlement had been made by the United States, our Government — Franklin 
Pierce was then President — determined to secure a settlement by appeal to 
arms. Various outrages, it was the contention of our Government, had been 
committed on the persons and property of American citizens dwelling in 
Nicaragua. The repeated demands for redress were not complied with. 

Peaceful negotiations having failed, in June, 1854, 
with the sloop-of-war "Cyane," was ordered to 
San Juan, or Grey town, which lies on the Mosquito 
to insist on favorable 
action from the Nica- 
raguan Government. 
Captain Hollins came 
to anchor off the coast 
and placed his de- 
mands before the 
authorities. He 
waited patiently for a 
response, but no satis- 
factory one was 
offered him. After 
waiting in vain for a 
number of days he 
made a final appeal 

Commander Hollins, 
proceed to the town of 
coast of Nicaragua, and 


and then proceeded 
to carry out instructions. On the morning of July 13th he directed his batteries 
on the town of San Juan and opened fire. Until four o'clock in the afternoon 
the cannon poured out broadsides as fast as they could be loaded. By that time 
the greater part of the town had been destroyed. Then a party of marines 
was put on shore, and they completed the destruction of the place by burning 
the houses. 

A lieutenant of the British navy commanding a small vessel of war was in the 
harbor at the time. England claimed a species of protectorate over the settle- 
ment, and the British officer raised violent protest against the action taken by 
America's representative. Captain Hollins, however, paid no attention to the 
interference and carried out his instructions. The United States Government 


later sustained Captain Hollins in everything that he did, and England thereupon 
thought best to let the matter drop. In this they were unquestionably wise. 

At this time the United States seems to have entered upon a period of 
international conflict. For no sooner had the difficulties with Austria and 
Nicaragua been adjusted, than another war-cloud appeared on the horizon. 
Here again but a year from the last conflict had elapsed, for in 1855 an offense 
was committed against the United States by Paraguay. We now have to go 
back three years. In 1852 Captain Thomas J. Page,* commanding a small 
light-draught steamer, the "Water Witch," by direction of his Government 
started for South America to explore the river La Plata and its large tributaries, 
Avith a view to opening up commercial intercourse between the United States 
and the . interior States of South America. We have said the expedition was 
ordered by our Government ; it also remains to be noted that the expedition 
was undertaken with the full consent and approbation of the countries having 
jurisdiction over those waters. Slowly, but surely, the little steamer pushed her 
way up the river, making soundings and charting the river as she proceeded. 
All went well until February i, 1855, when the first sign of trouble appeared. 

It was a lovely day in early summer — the summer begins in February in 
that latitude — and nothing appeared to indicate the slightest disturbance. The 
little "Water Witch" was quietly steaming up the River Parana, which forms 
the northern boundary of the State of Corrientes, separating it from Paraguay, 
when suddenly, without a moment's warning, a battery from Fort Itaparu, on 
the Paraguayan shore, opened fire upon the little steamer, immediately killing 
one of her crew who at that time was at the wheel. The "Water Witch" was 
not fitted for hostilities ; least of all could it assume the risk of attempting to 
run the batteries of the fort. Accordingly, Captain Page put the steamer 
about, and was soon out of range. It should here be explained that at that 
time President Carlos A. Lopez was the autocratic ruler of Paraguay, and that 
he had previously received Captain Page with every assurance of friendship. 
A few months previous, however, Lopez had been antagonized by the United 
States Consul at Ascencion, who, in addition to his official position, acted as 
agent for an American mercantile company, of which Lopez disapproved and 
went so far as to break up the business of the company. He also issued a 
decree forbidding foreign vessels of war from navigating the Parana or any of 
the waters bounding Paraguay, which he clearly had no right to do, as half the 
stream belonged to the State bordering on the other side. 

* Thomas Jefferson Page was born in Virginia in 1815. He entered the navy as midshipman 
in October, 1827, and was promoted to a lieutenancy in June, 1833. In September, 1855, ^e 
became a commander. In 1861, his State having passed the ordinance of secession, he resigned 
from the United States Navy, joining that of the Confederate States, where he attained the rank o£ 


Captain Page, finding it impracticable to prosecute his exploration any 
further, at once returned to the United States, giving the Washington authori- 
ties a detailed account of the occurrence. It was claimed by our Government that 
the "Water Witch" was not subject to the jurisdiction of Paraguay, as the 
channel was the equal property of the Argentine Republic. It was further 
claimed that even if she were within the jurisdiction of Paraguay she was not 
properly a vessel of war, but a Government boat employed for scientific pur- 
poses. And even were the vessel supposed to be a war vessel, it was contended 
that it was a gross violation of international right and courtesy to fire shot at 
the vessel of a friendly power without first resorting to more peaceful meanr. 
At that time William L. Marcy, one of the foremost statesmen of his day, was 
Secretary of State. Mr. Marcy at once wrote a strong letter to the Paraguayan 
Government, stating the facts of the case, declaring that the action of Paraguay in 

{Built at the Washington Navy-Yard, of American Steel.) 

firing upon the " Water Witch " would not be submitted to, and demanding ample 
apology and compensation. All efforts in this direction, however, proved fruit- 
less. Lopez refused to give any reparation ; and not only so, but declared no 
American vessel would be allowed to ascend the Parana for the purpose 

The event, as it became known, aroused not a little excitement ; and while 
there were some who "deprecated a resort to extreme measures " — a euphemistic 
pLrase frequently resorted to by those who would neither resent an insult nor 
take umbrage at an intended offense — the general sentiment of the country was 
decidedly manifested in favor of an assertion of our rights in the premises. 
Accordingly, President Pierce sent a message to Congress stating that a peace- 
ful adjustment of the difficulty was impossible, and asking that he be authorized 
to send such a naval force to Paraguay as would compel her arbitrary ruler to 
give the full satisfaction demanded. 

To this request Congress promptly and almost unanimously gave assent, 
and one of the strongest naval expeditions ever fitted out by the United States up 



to that time was ordered to assemble at the mouth of La Plata River. The 
fleet was a most imposing one and comprised nineteen vessels, seven of which 
were steamers specially chartered for the purpose, as our largest war vessels 
were of too deep draught to ascend La Plata and Parana. The entire squad- 
ron carried 200 guns and 2500 men, and was commanded by Flag Officer, 
afterward Rear Admiral, Shubrick,* one of the oldest officers of our navy, and 
one of the most gallant men that ever trod a quarter deck. Flag Officer Shu- 
brick was accompanied by United States Commissioner Bowlin, to whom was 
intrusted negotiations for the settlement of the difficulty. Three years and 
eleven months had now passed since the "Water Witch " was fired upon, and 
President Buchanan had succeeded Franklin Pierce. The winter of 1859 was 
just closing in at the North ; the streams were closed by ice, and the lakes were 
ice-bound, but the palm trees at the South were displaying their fresh green 
leaves, like so many fringed banners, in the warm tropical air when the United 
States squadron assembled at Montevideo [Montevideo]. As has been said, 
the force was an imposing one. There were two United States frigates, the 
"Sabine" and the "St. Lawrence;" two sloops-of-war, the "Falmouth" and 
the " Preble ; " three brigs, the " Bainbridge," the " Dolphin," and the " Perry ;" 
six steamers especially armed for the occasion, the " Memphis," the " Cale- 
donia," the "Atlanta," the "Southern Star," the " Westernport," the " M. W. 
Chapin," and the " Metacomet ; " two armed storeships, the " Supply" and the 
''Release;" the revenue steamer, "Harriet Lane;" and, lastly, the little 
"Water Witch" herself, no longer defenseless, but all in fighting trim for hos- 

On the 25th of January, 1859, within just one week of four years from the 
firing upon the " Water Witch," the squadron got under way and came to 
anchor off Ascencion, the capital of Paraguay. Meanwhile President Urquiza, 
of the Argentine Republic, who had offered his services to mediate the diffi- 
culty, had arrived at Ascencion in advance of the squadron. The negotiations 
were reopened, and Commissioner Bowlin made his demand for instant repara- 
tion. All this time Flag Officer Shubrick was not idle. With such of our 
vessels as were capable of ascending the river, taking them through the diffi- 
culties created by the currents, shoals, and sand bars of the river, he brought 

* William Branford Shubrick was one of the most illustrious men whose name has appeared on 
the roll of United States naval officers. He was born in 1790; appointed midshipman United 
States Navy June 20, 1806; joined the sloop-of-war "Wasp" 1812; a year later was transferred 
to the frigate "Constellation;" aided in the capture of the British vessels " Cyane " and 
" Levant ; " and in 1815 was awarded a sword by his native State. In 1820 was made commander ; 
in 1829 commanded the "Lexington; " in 1846 commanded the Pacific squadron, and filled 
various prominent positions extending over a period of sixty-one years, till May 12, 1876, when 
he died. 



them to a chosen position, where they made ready in case of necessity to open 
fire. The force within striking distance of Paraguay consisted of 1740 men, 
besides the officers, and 78 guns, including 23 nine-inch shell guns and one 
shell gun of eleven inches. 

Ships and guns proved to be very strong arguments with Lopez. It did 
not take the Dictator-President long to see that the United States meant business, 
and that the time for trifling had passed and the time for serious work had 
indeed begun. President Lopez's cerebral processes worked with remarkable and 
encouraging celerity. By February 5th, within less than two weeks of the 
starting of the squadron from Montevideo, Commissioner Bowlin's demands 
were all acceded to. Ample apologies were made for firing on the " Water 


Witch " and pecuniary compensation was given to the family of the sailor who 
had been killed. In addition to this, a new commercial treaty was made between 
the two countries, and cordial relations were fully restored between the two 
governments. When the squadron returned the Secretary of the Navy 
expressed the satisfaction of the government and the country in the follow- 
ing terms : — . 

"To the zeal, energy, discretion, and courteous and gallant bearing of Flag-officer Shubrick 
and the officers under his command, in conducting an expedition far into the interior of a remote 
country, encountering not only great physical difficulties, but the fears, apprehensions and prejudices 
of numerous States; and to the good conduct of the brave men under his command, is the country 
largely indebted, not only for the success of the enterprise, but for the friendly feeling towards the 
United States which now prevails in all that part of South America." 


To such a happy and peaceful conclusion were our difficulties with Paraguay 
finally brought. 

A period of thirty years elapsed before any serious difficulty occurred with 
any foreign powers. It was in 1891 that a serious difficulty threatened to 
disrupt our relations with Chili and possibly involve the United States in war 
with that power. Happily the matter reached a peaceful settlement. In 
January, 1891, civil war broke out in Chili, the cause of which was a contest 
between the legislative branch of the government and the executive, for the 
control of affairs. The President of Chili, General Balmaceda, began to assert 
authority which the legislature, or " the Congressionalists," as the opposing 
party was called, resisted as unconstitutional and oppressive, and they accord- 
ingly proceeded to interfere with Balmaceda's Cabinet in its efforts to carry out 
the despotic will of the executive. 

Finally matters came to a point where appeal to arms was necessary. On 
the 9th of January the Congressional party took possession of the greater part 
of the Chilian fleet, the navy being in hearty sympathy with the Congression- 
alists, and the guns of the war-ships were turned against Balmaceda, Valparaiso, 
the capital, and other ports being blockaded by the ships. For a time Balma- 
ceda maintained control of the capital and the southern part of the country. 
The key to the position was Valparaiso, which was strongly fortified, Balma- 
ceda's army being massed there and placed at available points. 

At last the Congressionalists determined to attack Balmaceda at his capital^ 
and on August 21st landed every available fighting man at their disposal at 
Concon, about ten miles north of Valparaiso. They were attacked by the Dic- 
tator on the 2 2d, there being twenty thousand men on each side. The Dictator 
had the worst of it. Then he rallied his shattered forces, and made his last 
stand at Placillo, close to Valparaiso, on the 28th. The battle was hot, the car- 
nage fearful ; neither side asked or received quarter. The magazine rifles, 
with which the revolutionists were armed, did wonders. The odds were agfainst 
Balmaceda ; both his generals quarreled in face of the enemy ; the army marched 
against the foe divided and demoralized. In the last battle both Balmaceda's 
generals were killed. The valor and the superior tactics of General Canto, leader 
of the Congressional army won the day. Balmaceda fled and eventually com- 
mitted suicide, and the Congressionalists entered the capital in triumph. 

Several incidents meantime had conspired, during the progress of this Vvar, 
to rouse the animosity of the stronger party in Chili against the United States. 
Before the Congressionalists' triumph the steamship Itata, loaded with American 
arms and ammunition for Chili, sailed from San Francisco, and as this was a 
violation of the neutrality laws, a United States war vessel pursued her to the 
harbor of Iquique, where she surrendered. Then other troubles arose. Our 
minister at Valparaiso, Mr. Egan, was charged by the Congressionalists, now 



in power, with disregarding international law in allowing the American 
Legation to become an asylum for the adherents of Balmaceda. Subsequently 
these refugees were permitted to go aboard American vessels and sail away. 
Then Admiral Brown, of the United States squadron, was, in Chili's opinion, 
guilty of having acted as a spy upon the movements of the Congressionalists' 
fleet at Ouinteros, and of bringing intelligence of its movements to Bal- 
maceda at Valparaiso. This, however, the Admiral stoutly denied. 


The strong popular feeling of dislike which was engendered by this news 
culminated on the i6th of October, in an attack upon American seamen by a 
mob in the streets of 
the Chilian capital. 
Captain Schley, com- 
mander of the United 
States cruiser, Balti- 
more, had given shore- 
leave to a hundred and 


seventeen petty officers and seamen, some of whom, when they had been 
on shore for several hours, were set upon by Chilians. They took refuge in a 
street car, from which, however, they were soon driven and mercilessly beaten, 
and a subordinate officer named Riggen fell, apparently lifeless. The American 
sailors, according to Captain Schley's testimony, were sober and conducting 
themselves with propriety when the attack was made. They were not armed, 
even their knives having been taken from them before they left the vessel. 

The assault upon those in the street car seemed to be only a signal for a 
general uprising ; and a mob which is variously estimated at from one thousand 
to two thousand people attacked our sailors with such fury that in a little while 
these men, whom no investigation could find guilty of any breach of the peace, 
were fleeingr for their lives before an overwhelming- crowd, amongr which were a 


number of the police of Valparaiso. In this affray eighteen sailors were stabbed, 
several dying from their wounds. 

Of course, the United States Government at once communicated with the 
Chilian authorities on the subject, expressing an intention to investigate the 
occurrence fully. The first reply made to the American Government by Signor 
Matta, the Chilian Minister of Foreign Affairs, was to the effect that Chili would 
not allow anything to interfere with her own official investigation. 

An examination of all the facts was made on our part. It was careful and 
thorough, and showed that our flag had been insulted in the persons of American 
seamen. Yet, while the Chilian Court of Inquiry could present no extenuating 
facts, that country refused at first to offer apology or reparation for the affront. 

In the course of the correspondence Minister Matta sent a note of instruc- 
tion to Mr. Montt, Chilian representative at Washington, in which he used most 
offensive terms in relation to the United States, and directed that the letter be 
given to the press for publication. 

After waiting for a long time for the result of the investigation at Valpa- 
raiso, and finding that, although no excuse or palliation had been found for the 
outrage, yet the Chilian authorities seemed reluctant to offer apology, the Presi- 
dent of the United States, in a message to Congress, made an extended state- 
ment of the various incidents of the case and its legal aspect, and stated that on 
the 2 1 St of January he had caused a peremptory communication to be presented 
to the Chilian Government, by the American Minister at Santiago, in which 
severance of diplomatic relations was threatened if our demands for satisfac- 
tion, which included the withdrawal of Mr. Matta's insulting note, were not 
complied with. At the time that this message was delivered no reply had been 
sent to this note. 

Mr. Harrison's statement of the legal aspect of the case, upon which the 
final settlement of the difficulty was based was, that the presence of a war-ship 
of any nation in a port belonging to a friendly power is by virtue of a general 
invitation which nations are held to extend to each other ; that Commander 
Schley was invited, with his officers and crew, to enjoy the hospitality of Valpa- 
raiso ; that while no claim that an attack which an individual sailor may be 
subjected to raises an international question, yet where the resident population 
assault sailors of another country's war vessels, as at Valparaiso, animated by 
an animosity against the government to which they belong, that governmenr 
must show the same enquiry and jealousy as though the representatives or flag 
of the nation had been attacked ; because the sailors are there by the order of 
their government. 

Finally an ultimatum was sent from the State Department at Washington, 
on the 25th, to Minister Egan, and was by him transmitted to the proper 
Chilian authorities. It demanded the retraction of Mr. Matta's note and suit- 



able apology and reparation for the insult and injury sustained by the United 
States. On the 28th of January, 1892, a dispatch from Chili was received, in 
which the demands of our Government were fully acceded to, the offensive 
letter was withdrawn and regret was expressed for the trouble. In his relation 
to this particular case Minister Egan's conduct received the entire approval of 
his Government. 

While the United States looked for a peaceful solution of this annoying 
international episode, the proper preparations were made for a less desirable 


outcome. Our naval force was put in as efficient a condition as possible, and 
the vessels which were then in the navy yard were gotten ready for service with 
all expedition. If the Chilian war-scare did nothing else, it aroused a whole- 
some interest in naval matters throughout the whole of the United States, and 
by focusing attention upon the needs of this branch of the public service, showed 
at once how helpless we might become in the event of a war with any first-class 
power. We can thank Chili that to-day the United States Navy, while far from 
being what it should be, is in a better condition than at any time in our history. 




fF the earliest adventurers who first brought the news of Polar 
seas and Arctic cold to the wonder seeking world of Europe we 
have not the space to speak. Neither can we dwell upon the 
trials and triumphs of the adventurous Cabots, devoted Cor- 
tereals, PVobisher, Willoughby, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Barentz, 
Hudson or Baffin, who have all associated their names with the 
frozen regions of the North. 
Behring and the Russian explorers, Van Wrangel and Anjou, have written 
their records in the illimitable solitudes of ice. British heroes, Ross and Parry, 
Buchan and Franklin, as well as other later but not less noble Englishmen, 
have shown to what lengths men may go when actuated by the call of duty or 
the summons of a OTeat idea. But with Frenchman, Hollander, Russian or 
Englishman we must have little to do in this chapter. 

Sir John Franklin sailed from the Thames on his last voyage on the 9th of 
May, 1845. His two ships, the " Erebus " and "Terror," were provisioned for 
three years. On the 26th of July of that year they were seen by a whaler, 
moored to an iceberg, waiting for an opening in the ice field to advance into 
Baffin's Bay ; they were then two hundred and ten miles from the entrance to 
Lancaster sound. Towards the close of 1847 anxiety in England began to 
grow concerning the fate of the gallant Franklin and his command, and shortly 
three relief or search expeditions were sent out by the British government to try 
to obtain news of him. These w^ere unsuccessful but were followed by others, 
some fitted up by private individuals and some by the government. Lady 
Franklin did much to keep the search alive, but to no purpose. 


The fate of the intrepid Englishman was only known after years of careful 
search, and was learned little by little, hints and clues being fitted together till 
the outline of the pitiful story of disaster and failure could be read. 

From the time that the " Erebus" and " Terror" entered the narrow seas over 



which the grim sentinel bergs stood guard till the latter vessel was nipped in 
the grinding floe, the peril was unremitting. No sadder sight can we imagine 
than the lonely graves that mark the desolate shores of Beechy Island ; no more 
disappointing search than that for the lost records has ever been made. 

Such men as Ross, Richardson, Collinson, Rae, Killett and McClure, in 
these unsuccessful efforts, added lustre to the Anglo-Saxon name. 

The English expeditions, though coming short of success, were not entirely 
without result. Captains Austin and Penny discovered Franklin's winter quar- 
ters on Beechy Island, in the winter of 1845-46, but found no clue to his 
direction upon breaking camp. Dr. Rae brought home tidings also, and even 
discovered and obtained from the Esquimo, a number of Franklin relics. 

It is a noteworthy fact that Franklin added more to the world's knowledge 
of Arctic lands and seas by his death than he could have accomplished by his 
life, since a large proportion of the work done in that direction in the last half 
century has been in the course of efforts to discover the records of his last 


The first of American explorers to join in the Franklin search was Elisha 
Kent Kane. His vessel, the "Advance," of 120 tons, was fitted up at the 
expense of Henry Grinnell and George Peabody, first in 1850. He reached 
Beechy Island and assisted in the search for Franklin records at the camp 
already mentioned, but returned without wintering. Later, in 1853, Dr. Kane 
once more sailed for Smith's Sound, from New York. It was on the last day of 
May that he left and August found him ice-locked in Smith's Sound, in 78°45' 
North, only about seventeen miles from the entrance. He wintered in Van 
Renssellaer Harbor. Though greatly hampered by sickness and want his party 
made a number of discoveries, that of the Humboldt Glacier being one of these. 
Traveling parties and even single individuals made excursions from the brig, and 
among these we must mention Morton, Dr. Kane's steward, who crossed the 
glacier with a dog team. After a second winter in the now unseaworthy brig, 
a winter that tried the souls of the brave little party that was sheltered there, — 
when cold, hunger and scurvy failed to subdue the indomitable courage and 
cheerfulness of the leader or his men, — the vessel that had come to be so much 
like home to them was abandoned to her fate and a masterly retreat commenced. 

With sledges and boats Dr. Kane conducted his command, the well 
helping the sick. Only one man died on the way to the Danish settlement 
of Upernevic, the most northerly habitation of civilized man in the world. 
All the records and instruments were saved, though the perilous journey 
led over pack and floe, glacier and hummock ice. 

Lieutenant Hartstene was sent in search of Dr. Kane's party, but 
reached Van Renssellaer harbor too late, overtaking the explorer, however, on 





his return trip. Kane's expedition, though not a success so far as the finding 
of FrankUn was concerned, was yet of great benefit to science, since he 
added new lands to geography, and completer physical observations than any 
explorer had previously done ; besides this his valuable notes of the Etah 
Esquimo have been of benefit to all succeeding travelers in the frozen North. 


D. J. J. Hayes, Kane's surgeon, was the first white man to put foot on 
Grinnell Land. During one part of the sojourn in Van Renssellaer Bay, 


Hayes took a party, and started southward to Upernevic, which, however, he 
did not reach, and finally returned, almost dead with fatigue, exposure, and 
hunger, to his chief, who received him with great kindness, though the attempt 
to leave the main party was unauthorized. 

Later, Hayes led a separate expedition to the Arctic regions, sailing from 
Boston for Smith's Sound, in the schooner "United States," in July of i860. 



Following up the line of research commenced by Dr. Kane, he proceeded to 
Port Foulke, where he wintered in 78° 17' North Lat. One of his most note- 
worthy exploits was crossing Smith's Sound in sledges. 

Another remarkable American explorer was Charles Hall, of Cincinnati^ 
whose first voyage was made in i860. He was a man of humble origin, who 
had made his own way and devoted himself, his money, and his intellect to the 
search for Franklin, with the purest enthusiasm. His first find was the stone 
house built by Martin Frobisher on the Countess of Warwick Island. 

Hall's second expedition was the one most generally known. Begun in 
1864, it lasted until 1869, and by the exercise of patience, endurance, and 
pertinacity seldom equaled, the searcher finally was rejoiced to find the line of 
Franklin's retreat at Todd's Island and Peffer River, on the south coast of King 
William Land. Then he learned from the Esquimo the sad story of the wreck 
of one of the vessels, and that seven bodies were buried at Todd's Island. He 
brought home the bones of one, supposed to be Lieutenant le Vescount. 


Again, in 1871, Hall made his third and, as it proved, his last voyage in 
the " Polaris." He penetrated 250 miles to the northward of Smith's Sound and 
was ice-locked on the 30th of August of that year in 82° 16' North. The 
following winter he spent at a spot called Thank God Bay, a degree further 
south than his farthest point. 

While the " Polaris " was ice-locked there. Hall suddenly died and the 
captain, Budington, prepared to abandon her. While his preparations were 
being made, and during the time that some of the party were out upon the ice 
with a quantity of provisions, the vessel broke away, and those upon the ice 
made one of the most remarkable journeys on record, being rescued only after 
they had drifted two thousand miles on the floe. 

While these voyages were being made, Robert Brown, Captain Nares, 
Nordenskiold, Sir Henry Gore, Booth, Markham, and many other noted 
foreigners were adding to their fame in the Frigid Zone. Nordenskiold 
discovered the Northeast passage, that had been the dream of Navigators for 
more than three centuries. 

In 1879 Lieutenant Schwatka headed an expedition from the United States, 
his object being to explore thoroughly the west coast of King William's 
Land in search of Franklin's records. He wintered in Hudson Bay, near 
Chesterfield inlet. This expedition was from the outset remarkable for one 
fact, that it was the first that had subsisted upon the game of the country. 
The traveling was all by land, or rather ice, and was accomplished without 
regard to weather or temperature. From the winter camp, overland for the 
estuary of the great Fish River, Schwatka started in the early spring of 1879, 




with only one month's provisions. The complete record of this expedition, 
as told by Mr. Gilder, the second in command, is full of interest. The search 
over the ground where the survivors of the Franklin party had been traced 
was minute. Esquimo witnesses were examined, and every cairn, every heap 
of stones was scrutinized, till at length the inevitable conclusion was forced 
upon them that the Franklin records were lost forever. During the search the 
grave of an officer of the "Terror" was discovered and identified by the clothing 
and trinkets. This was Lieutenant Irvine, the third officer of the ill-fated vessel. 


The " Jeannette" left San Francisco on July 8, 1879, with Captain De Long 
in command. Her crew numbered thirty-three men. She was put into the ice 
pack in two months from the time of her departure and frozen in before the 
end of November. For two years her people supported the hardships and 
deprivations of Arctic winters, and at last, in June, 1881, the "Jeannette" sank. 

Then began a long, perilous and ill-fated retreat, of which the interesting 
record is to be found in the journal of the unfortunate Commander. It is a 
story of heroic endeavors to cross the ice fields, from the time when the loaded 
boats left the sinking " Jeannette " to the hour when the hand of the writer could 
no longer hold his pencil. 

In many respects the narrative of cold and fog, of refractory dogs, broken 
sledges, sudden immersions and disastrous losses is much like those of other 
explorers of the Frozen Zone. But its pathos is deeper, because its record of 
unwavering courage and manliness is so abundant. Yet sometimes De Long 
uttered a note of regret, as when he writes, on July 4, '81: "Our flags are 
flying in honor of the day, though to me it is a blue one. Three years ago 
to-day, at Havre, the 'Jeannette' was christened, and many pleasant things were 
said and anticipations formed, all of which have gone down with the ship. I 
did not think then that three years afterwards would see us all out on the ice 
with nothing accomplished and a story of a lost ship to come back to our well- 
wishers at home. My duty to those who came with -me is to see them safely 
back, and to devote all my mind and strength to that end. * * * I must 
endeavor to look my misfortune in the face and to learn what its application 
may be. It will be hard, however, to be known hereafter as a man who under- 
took a polar expedition and sunk his ship in the seventy-seventh parallel." 

But the " nothing accomplished" was changed to rejoicing on the 29th of 
that same month, when, after a most critical journey over rough and broken ice, 
battling almost constantly with an impenetrable fog, he used a piece of floe ice 
for a ferry boat and from this strange craft landed on the shore of an island 
hitherto undiscovered. In the journal he records his address to the men of his 



" I have to announce to you that this island, toward which we have been 
strugghng for more than two weeks, is newly discovered land. I therefore take 
possession of it in the name of the President of the U. S., and name it Bennett 

Upon the Northern coast of the mainland of Siberia, after untold hardships, 
De Long landed and then perished. 

The "Jeannette" expedition was planned and financially backed by James 
Gordon Bennett, but it had been adopted and made national by an Act of Con- 
gress, so that the obligation to find and rescue, if possible, those who had 
survived the sinking of the vessel was imperative. After the separation of the 
boats, which occurred before reaching the mainland. Lieutenant Melville with 
part of the crew reached Irkutsch, and as soon as practicable he set out in 
search of De 
Long. On March 
23,1883, the body 
of the latter, to- 
gether with two 
of his men, was 
found. They had 
perished from 
starvation. Two 
steamers w e re 
sent in search of 
the "Jeannette" 
party from the 
United States; 
one of these, the 
"Rodgers," un- 
der Lieutenant Berry, was burned in her winter quarters north of Wrangell 
Land, after doing excellent work in exploration, having reached the highest 
point ever attained on that meridian. One of the officers, Mr. Gilder, made a 
hazardous home journey through Siberia. 

A suggestion was made, in 1875, by Lieutenant Weyprecht, a German, to 
establish an international system of polar stations for synchronous meteorological 
and magnetic observations and records. Weyprecht died too soon to see his 
plan carried into effect, but, later, eight nations agreed to follow it, and among 
these was our own. 

On June 14, 1881, the Lady Franklin Bay expedition, usually known as the 
Greely expedition, sailed from Baltimore by way of St. John's, Newfoundland, 
for Smith's Sound. Lieutenant Greely was in command, and second to him was 
the lamented Lieutenant Lockwood, while Dr. Pavey was the physician of the 



party. They proceeded with a full corps of men, on the steamer " Protean," to 
Lady Franklin Bay, where, finding the season exceptionally favorable, a house 
was built, in which they stored two years' provisions. 

The great and fatal mistake of the Government in regard to this expedition 
was the failure to provide an intermediate supply station which could be visited 
by vessels from the South, and to which the voyagers might retreat in case 
of need. 

From the start two regular sets of observations were made and the scientific 
work of the party, which was preserved through all the subsequent disasters and 
hazards, was perfectly successful. 

History does not present a more heroic story than that of the continuance 
of the work of observation, when disease and famine had reduced the strength 
of the party so that the living were not able always to bury the dead, and the 
gaunt, haggard forms of the survivors staggered to their work till the last vestige 
of strength had utterly failed. The soldier who stands to his gun through the 
hot climax of some terrific battle does not achieve such a triumphant mastery 
over defeat as did the heroes of Cape Sabine. 

At first all went well. Some brilliant work was done. Dr. Pavey with one 
companion made a northward excursion that will be ever memorable, and few 
members of the command failed to distinguish themselves by pluck, endurance 
and devoted fidelity to comrades. But the crowning success of the expedition, 
so far as the work of exploration went, was made by Lieutenant Lockwood. 

He made a journey along the north coast of Greenland, establishing new 
lines upon that hitherto unchartered waste, and then, turning his sledges north- 
ward still further, reached a small island in 83° 24' N. and stood in a higher 
latitude than any to which a human being has penetrated since the first attempt 
to pierce the Arctic solitudes. Sergeant Brainard who accompanied him, wrote 
in his journal this note : "We unfurled the glorious stars and stripes to the 
exhilarating Northern breezes with an exultation impossible to describe." 

After the return of Lockwood and Brainard with their party, great hard- 
ships overtook the Greely command. In the summer of 1883 the expected help 
did not arrive, relieving vessels failing to reach them. Falling back upon Cape 
Sabine in Smith's Sound, which they reached in August of 1883, they subsisted 
for a little while upon the stores left there by Sir George Nares and then began 
to give way to that most dreadful enemy, famine. When at length the steamers 
" Thetis" and " Bear" arrived and the gallant commander Schley completed the 
long attempted rescue, only Lieutenant Greely and six companions were left 
alive, and these were helplessly awaiting the death they had faced so long. 
Reverently the American reads the record of their daring and suffering, and 
pays the tribute of admiration both to the few survivors and the many for whom 
the relief came too late. 

■ 2 3 4 i •) 7 S 9 

2, Lutherap. a. French. 3. Trinity. 4. New Dutch. 5. Old Dutch. 6. Presbyterian. 7. Baptist. 8. Quaker. 9. Synagogue. 



""TV HE physical and social conditions bywhich the early settlers of this 
m\&}j. country were environed after reaching it were hardly more diverse 
from those to which they had been accustomed than were the new 
conditions of their religious life. The tendency of their sur- 
roundings, however clear or vague to their apprehension, was, it 
is now evident, toward the development of an order of things in 
their communities akin to, if not identical with, the primitive 
Hebrew commonwealth. Absolute equality of religious relations among the 
individuals of the nation was a cardinal principle in the genius of that common- 
wealth, but the conception of the principle, along with any grasp of what it 
involved, had lapsed from the minds of most men in Europe before the 
discovery of America, — where, as is plain enough in our day, it is ultimately 
to have such illustration as the world has not yet seen. The seeds for its 
growth came to these shores with some of the settlers, and a survey of 
facts will emphasize the statement. 

Protestant Episcopalianism, known in America prior to the American Revolu- 
tion as the "Church of England," was established in Virginia as early as 1686, 
its first rector in America being the Rev. Robert Hunt. Sir Humphrey Gilbert, 
of England (i 539-1583), was the first to direct his attention to this country from 
religious considerations, and when the Virginia Company obtained its charter 
one of its articles provided for the "preaching of the true Word and the praise 
of God," not only in the American colonies, but as far as possible among the 
savages bordering upon them. The Rev. Mr. Whitaker succeeded Rector 
Hunt, and was denominated the "Apostle of Virginia." He was the first 
Protestant who baptized an Indian convert, and that convert was Pocahontas, 
daughter of the Chief Powhatan. In 1787 the American Episcopal Church 
became independent of the English, and assumed the name of T/ie Protestant 
Episcopal Church in the United States, — Rev. Dr. William White, of Philadelphia, 




Pa., and Rev. Dr. Samuel Provost, of New York city, its first bishops,* being conse- 
crated as such by the Archbishop of Canterbury, at Lambeth Palace, the 
archiepiscopal residence in London, England, February 4, of that year. 

Next in order of time came hither the English Pilgrims, Puritans, and 
Congregationalists. Their story is well known. The Pilgrims landed on 
Plymouth Rock, in the present State of Massachusetts, and held their first 
religous services on Sabbath, December 22, 1620, the number of their churches 
in the world at that date, which can now be identified, being not more than five 
or six. In 1629 a church was organized at Salem, Mass., one at Charlestown, in 

1630; another at Duxbury, in 1632, 
and others still, soon after, in Connec- 
ticut. By the census of 1890 the num- 
ber of Conorrecrational oro^anizations 
in the United States was 4857, with 
church property in the denomination 
valued at ^43,243,962, and a member- 
ship of 51 1,198 persons. 

Third in order of arrival were the 
Lntherans, the earliest settlement of 
the denomination being made by emi- 
grants from Holland to New York 
soon after the first establishment of 
the Dutch in that city, in 1621. They 
did not enjoy the services of a pastor 
of their own faith until after the colony 
fell into the hands of the English in 
1 664. In 1 63S emigrants from Sweden 
founded a Lutheran church at the 
present Wilmington, Del. In 1890 the 
Lutheran Communion in the United 
States had 8427 organizations or con- 
its church property was valued at 


gregations, with 6559 church edifices 

$34,218,234, and its communicants numbered 1,199,514. 

The first of the American Reformed Protestant Dutch churches (known 
since 1867 as The First Reformed CJmrch in America) was gathered in New 
York city in 1628. The minister was Rev. Jonas Michaelius, and the Dutch 
language was exclusively used in their churches until 1764, when Rev. Archibald 
Laidlie, a Scotch minister from Flushing, in Holland, connected himself with the 

* The consecration of Bishop Samuel Seabury by Episcopal bishops at Aberdeen, Scotland, in 
1784, was for " the churches of the Episcopal persuasion in Connecticut, in North America." 


Dutch Church, was invited to New York, and there commenced services iii the 
Enghsh tongue. The returns of the eleventh (1890) United States census give 
the Reformed Dutch Church in the country 572 organizations ; value of church 
property, $10,340,159 ; members, 92,970. 

The history of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States properly 
begins with the settlement of Maryland by a colony of Catholics and Protestants 
under the auspices of Lord Baltimore. These people located at St. Mary's, Md., 
in 1634. In 1890 this denomination of Christians had within the limits of the 
United States 10,221 organizations or congregations, 8766 houses of worship, 
valued at $118,381,516, and 6,250,045 communicants. 

The Associated Baptists followed next. Rev. Roger Williams, who had been 
assistant preacher to the Congregational Church at Salem, Mass., going to the 
present Providence, R. I., after his final banishment from the Massachusetts 
Colony (1635), s-^'i forming there the first Baptist church in America, in 1639. 
A second Baptist church organization was effected at Newport, R. I., in 1644. 

As early as 1640 Irish Presbyterians came to this country, but accredited 
historians of the denomination are chary of statement as to the time of the 
organization of the earliest Presbyterian Church in America. Authority, how- 
ever, establishes the fact that in 1683 R^v. Francis Mackemie came from the 
North of Ireland and began to gather the people at Rehoboth, in Maryland, and 
elsewhere, into Presbyterian churches, the first Presbytery being formed of seven 
ministers, at Philadelphia, Pa., in 1705. The church at Jamaica, L. I., organized 
in 1662, claims to have been Presbyterian in polity at the date of its formation. 
The organizations of the Presbyterian Church in the United States in 1890 are 
reported from the Census Office as 6717; value of church property as 
■$74,445,200; members, 788,224. 

Methodist Episcopal classes in America were founded by Philip Embury, — 
the first in New York city, in 1766. The earliest Methodist preaching-place was 
dedicated on John Street in that city, in 1 768. Two years later the first Metho- 
dist church edifice in Philadelphia, Pa., was built. December 25, 1784, at 
Baltimore, Md., sixty Methodist clergymen met in General Conference and 
formally constituted The Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. This 
body of Christians had in the United States, by the census of 1890, 25,863 
^organizations; church property valued at $86,718,808, and 2,229,281 members. 
y Concerning each of these sects, which have been the most prominent of 
those in the United States, — although in a qualified sense as to some of them, — 
and, in general, of all immigrants who have come to the United States or its 
Territories, two things of cardinal importance are to be observed in any 
adequate view of the subject of this chapter. The first is, that they came to 
America from countries where the union of Church and State, the possession 
and use of power within the Church by the civil government, and the allowance 


to the State of that power within the Church, by the Church itself, in return 
for benefits received, — with the more or less frequent and large use of power 
in civil affairs by the Church itself, — prevailed in greater or in less degree. 
Another fact not to be lost sight of is that most of them came, and come in our 
day, from lands where they had always felt the dominant authority of a hierarchy 
or priesthood, in things spiritual, and not seldom in things secular, as an element 
the activity of which was unremitting. It has well been said that only in the 
United States of America has the experiment ever been tried (and it began here 
with the coming of the early settlers) of applying Christianity to man and to 
society without the intervention of the State, and with a continually lessening 
power, among the clergy, of imposing their will either upon the Church or upon 
individuals within the Church. This has made the history of the Christian 
Church within the United States, more emphatically, of course, in some regions 
than in others, — but yet within all regions, — a history with such peculiarities as 
these: " i. its history is not the record of the conversion of a new people, but 
of the transplanting of old races, already Christianized, to a new theatre, com- 
paratively untrammeled by institutions and traditions ; 2. independence of the 

civil power; 3. the voluntary principle 
applied to the support of religious insti- 
tutions ; 4. moral and ecclesiastical, but 
r^fM^MA "°'- *-'^'' power the means of retaining the 
CHURCH SPIRES OF NEW YORK IN 1746- Hiembers of any communion ; 5. develop- 

ment of the Christian Church in its prac- 
tical and moral aspects rather than in its theoretical and theological ; 6. stricter 
discipline in the churches than is practicable when Church and State are one ; 
7. increase of the churches to a considerable extent through revivals of religion 
rather than by the natural growth of children in an establishment ; 8. excessive 
multiplication of sects and division on questions of moral reform." * 

Such has been the tendency of things in this section of the New World 
from the outset of its settlement by the whites, and if any of the American 
colonies, for instance that of the Massachusetts Bay, founded their social fabric 
on the theory of uniting Church and State, or, to speak with precision, by making 
the Church the State, the attempt was abortive, and in its issue sustained the 
statements now made. It will assuredly prove interesting to observe the working 
of these new conditions in certain outer aspects of religious life and experience. 
Those aspects were not, indeed, directly or solely the fruit of the conditions 
to which we have referred. Many other conditions conspired with these to 
produce them, such as the antecedent experience of the settlers in Europe, the 
untamed Nature that was around them, the perils and exposure incident to pioneer 

* Professor Henry B. Smith : Tables of Church History. 


life, aggravated by the proximity, and often by the hostility, of the Indians, lords 
of the soil before the seventeenth century. But a prime fact in this connection 
is that in large portions of the country the resultant of the influences that 
moulded the religious life of the early setders was to impart to its spirit a quality 
of grimness that was almost sombre. This was especially true of the New 
England settlements, although it is not true to the extent which has ordinarily 
been alleged. But it existed in New England beyond any other part of the 
colonies, and the confirmation of the statement is not far to find in more than 
one direction. As this appeared in the social life of New England communities, 
one may come near toward gauging it by the influence it had upon the 
observance of the Sabbath. 

Very much has been said concerning what have been styled the " blue 
laws" of the New Haven Colony, founded in 1638, and the three that follow 
have been most bitterly ridiculed : — 

"No one shall travel, cook victuals, make beds, sweep house, cut hair, or shave on the Sabbath 

" No woman shall kiss her child on the Sabbath or fasting day. 

" No one shall ride on the Sabbath Day, or walk in his garden, or elsewhere, except reverently 
to and from meeting." 

But since these "laws," so-called, had no existence in any New England 
code, colonial or other, but are merely citations from a " General History of 
Connecticut," printed in England, in 1781, by the Rev. Samuel A. Peters, some- 
time Tory rector of the Episcopal churches at Hartford and at Hebron, in that 
Colony, after he had been forced to fly from America to England, in which work 
he poured out the vials of his wrath upon the land from which he had taken his 
departure, it does not seem worth one's while to dwell upon them. 

It is not, however, to be gainsaid that among the Puritans in early New 
England the personal conduct of citizens upon the Sabbath was subject to 
judicial supervision and animadversion, to such a degree that the suggestion of 
its imitation in our day would be almost universally regarded as impertinence. 
This was so not only in Connecticut and Massachusetts, but in other New 
England Provinces and States. In New London, Connecticut, during the latter 
part of the seventeenth century, we find that a "wicked fisherman" was prose- 
cuted before the Court and fined for catching fish on the "Lord's Day," while 
another was fined 20 s. for sailing a boat on the same day. In 1670, at the same 
place, two lovers, John Lewis and Sarah Chapman, were tried for sitting together 
on the " Lord's Day" under an apple tree in Goodman Chapman's orchard, an 
act not violently unnatural, and surely, in itself considered, without harm. In 
Plymouth, Massachusetts, a man was sharply whipped for shooting fowl on 
Sunday ; another man was fined for carrying home a grist of corn on the " Lord's 
Day," and the miller who allowed him to take it was also fined. Elizabeth 


Eddy, of the same town, was fined, in 1652, "ten shillings for wringing and 
hanging out clothes." A Plymouth, Massachusetts, man, for attending to his 
tar-pits on the Sabbath, was set in the stocks. James Watt, in 1685, was 
publicly reproved " for writing a note about common business on the Lord's 
Day, at least in the evening somewhat too soon!' A Plymouth, Massachusetts, 
man, who drove a yoke of oxen, was " presented " before the Court, as was also 
another offender who drove some cows a short distance " without need " on the 

In Newbury, Massachusetts, in 1646, Aquila Chase and his wife were 
presented and fined for gathering peas from their garden on the Sabbath, but 
upon investigation the fines were remitted, and the offenders were only admon- 
ished. In Wareham, Massachusetts, in 1 772, William Estis acknowledged himself 
guilty of " raeking hay on the Lord's Day" and was fined ten shillings ; and in 
1774 another Wareham citizen, " for a breach of the Sabbath in puling apples," 
was fined five shillings. A Dunstable, Massachusetts, soldier, for "wetting a 
piece of an old hat to put in his shoe '' to protect his foot, — for doing this piece 
of heavy work on the "Lord's Day" was fined, and paid, forty shillings. And 
Captain Kemble, of Boston, Massachusetts, was, in 1656, set for two hours in the 
town stocks, for his "lewd and unseemly behavior," which consisted in kissing 
his wife, " publicquely," on the Sabbath Day, upon the doorstep of his house, 
when he had just returned from a voyage and absence of three years. Similar 
citations might be multiplied, but this topic may be dismissed by a quotation 
from another author, who says, truly : " The legislation thrown about the Sabbath 
was in confirmation of the public opinion regarding its sanctity. The harsher 
aspects of this observance have been sufficiently dwelt on in our histories ; the 
effect upon character has been less considered, but the elevation of one day out 
of the t)'ranny of work, the resolute facing of eternal mysteries, and the with- 
drawal into a half-brooding, half-active state of mind, must have had a powerful 
effect upon the imagination and conscience. The " meeting-house " was no holy 
building, but the Sabbath Day was a holy day, and was the most comprehensive 
symbol of the Puritan faith. It was what the altar is in the Catholic Church, the 
holy of holies, about which the whole movement of religious worship gathered. 
Whatever disturbed the profound stillness of the day was seized on by the law 
as sacrilegious ; and never, perhaps, has there been a religion which succeeded 
so completely in investing time with the sacredness which elsewhere had been 
appropriated by place. Even the approacli to the Sabbath was guarded, and the 
custom of the observance of Saturday evening appears to have been derived from 
the backward influence of the day, as the release upon Sunday evening appears 
to have been a concession to the flesh, which would otherwise have rebelled. 
Rev. Dr. Horace Bushnell, in his " Age of Homespun," tells of his own experi- 
ence in boyhood, when he was refused a load of apples which he had gone to buy 



on Saturday afternoon, because the farmer, on consulting the sun, decided that 
he could not measure out the fruit before the strict Sabbath began ! * 

A strong factor, not only in enforcing this observance of the Sabbath, but in 
fashioning the whole religious character and life of the New England Colonists, 
was the Puritan minister. 

The reach of his influence, and the extent to which it was employed by the 
Puritan minister, take on a grotesque air to modern contemplation, — earnest, 
pure and noble men, as most of the ministers certainly were, zealous for every 
enterprise that they believed would promote the common weal, however 
toilsome, or involving whatever degree of self-sacrifice. Thus, one minister felt 
it necessary to reprove a money-making parishioner who had stored and was 
holding in reserve (with the hope of higher prices) a large quantity of corn, 
which was sadly needed for consumption in the town. The parson preached 
from the appropriate text, Proverbs xi, 26 : " He that withholdeth his corn, the 
people shall curse him ; but blessings shall be upon the head of him that selleth 
it." As the minister grew warmer in his explanation and application of the text, 


the money-seeking corn-storer defiantly and unregenerately sat up, stiff and 
unmoved, until at last, the preacher, provoked out of prudence and patience, 
roared out, " Colonel Ingraham, Colonel Ingraham ! you know I mean you ; 
why don't you hang down your head ? " f 

That, as a class, the Puritan ministers were autocrats in the community, and 
that they never hesitated to show their authority, in any manner, in the pulpit, 
and not seldom elsewhere, is plain from a slight knowledge of facts. If any 
evil-doer, moreover, incredulous of their position, set himself to try conclusions 
with them, he came off second best in the encounter. In Sandwich, Mass., a man 
was publicly whipped for speaking deridingly of God's word and ordinances as 
taught by the Sandwich minister. Mistress Oliver was forced to stand, in 
public, with a cleft stick on her tongue, for " reproaching the Elders." At New 
Haven, Conn., a man was severely whipped and fined for declaring that he 

* H. E. Scudder's " Noah Webster," in series " American Men of Letters," pp. 30, 31. 
t Cited from "The Sabbath in Puritan New England," by Alice Morse Earle, p. 313. 


received no profit from the minister's sermons. A terrible shock was given to 
the Windham, Conn,, Church, in 1729, by the "vile and slanderous expressions" 
of one unregenerate Winihamite, who said, "I had rather hear my dog bark, 
than Mr. Bellamy preach." He was warned that he would be " shaken off and 
given up ;" and terrified at the prospect of so dire a fate, he read a confession of 
his sorrow and repentance, and promised to " keep a guard over his tongue," 
and also to listen to Mr. Bellamy's preaching, which may have been a still more 

difficult task In 163 1, Philip Ratcliffe, for "speaking against the 

churches " had his ears cut off was whipped and banished.'-' 

The reverence entertained for the ministers, which gave them their author- 
ity, is evidenced by the whimsical epithets and descriptions which were freely 
applied to the parsons. They were called "holy-heavenly," "sweet-affecting," 
"soul-ravishing," "heaven-piercing," "angel-rivaling," "subtle," " irrefragible," 
"angelical," "septemfluous," "holy-savored," "princely," "soul-appetizing," 
"full of antic tastes" (meaning having the tastes of an antiquary), "God- 
bearing," etc. 

Withal, however, many of the Puritan clergy were men of cheery dispo- 
sitions. Nor did they always hold themselves from the humanities, the hilarities, 
and the sports of their people. The best cider in Massachusetts, — that which 
brought the highest price, — was known as the Arminian cider, because the 
minister who furnished it in the market was suspected of having Arminian 
tendencies. A very telling compliment to the cider of one of the first New 
England ministers is thus recorded : " Mr. Whiting had a score of apple-trees, 
from which he made delicious cyder. And it hath been said yt an Indyan once 
coming to hys house, and Mistress Whiting giving him a drynk of ye cyder, he 
did sett down ye pot and say yt Adam and Eve were rightly damned for eating 
ye appills in ye Garden of Eden ; they should have made them into cyder." 

Of so much account were the barrels of cider, and so highly prized 

were they by the ministers, that one honest soul did not hesitate to thank the 
Lord, in the pulpit, for the "many barrels of cider vouchsafed to us this year."f 

The Puritan clergyman ordinarily served his flock for very small pecuniary 
compensation. In 1630, the First Court of Massachusetts set the amount of 
the minister's annual stipend to be ^20, or ^^^30, according to the wealth of the 
community, and made it a public charge. A large portion of the salaries in 
early parishes being paid in corn and labor, the amounts were established by 
fixed rates upon the inhabitants ; and the amount of land owned and cultivated 
by each church-member was considered in reckoning his assessment. These 
amounts were called "voluntary contributions." If however, any citizen refused 

* Cited from "The Sabbath in Puritan New England," by Alice Morse Earle, pp. 259, 260. 
t Loc. cit., pp. 287, 2S8. 



to contribute, he was taxed; and if he refused to pay his church-tax, he could be 
fined, imprisoned, or pilloried. 

It may be said of the Puritan minister, as we leave him, that with all his 
traits, he was usually at or near the bottom of every good enterprise where his 
lot was cast. Patient, self-denying, determined, sincere, he did his work in his 
day. He has passed from among men, but it is a question worthy of thought, — 
how many men has he left behind him his equals in the apprehension and 
discharge of human obligation according to the best standards of duty ? One 
cannot err in distinctly recognizing the influence of his preaching upon the 
religious life of his time. Alike its matter and style moulded thought and con- 
duct. Biblical, clear, pungent as it certainly was, in by far the greater number 
of cases, its disproportionate emphasis of the doctrines of Divine Sovereignty 
and God's Election of Grace, made the piety of its hearers, in multitudes of 
instances, take on a se- 
verity of aspect which it 
is to be hoped, in greater 
or in less degree mis- 
represented the practi- 
cal Christian faith that 
was in them. Many ci- 
tations could be presen- 
ted to show the quality 
of the preaching which 
produced this. We quote 
two. Rev.Thomas Hook- 
er (1586-1647), pastor 
of the first church at 
Hartford, Connecticut, 

was doubtless one of the wisest and ablest of New England Puritan ministers, 
but in making the point that the conversion of a human soul to Christ is 
a great and difficult thing, he averred "it is not a litde mercey that will 

serve the turn The Lord will make all crack before thou 

shalt find mercey." So he argued on the necessity of a clear view of his 
own sinfulness, if a man is to be saved, in the followine laneuaee : " As 
suppose any soul here present were to behold the damned in hell, and if 
the Lord should give thee a litde peepe-hole into hell, that thou didst see the 
horror of those damned souls, and thy heart begins to shake in congideradon 
thereof; then propound this to thy owne heart what pains the damned in hell doe 
endure for sinne, and thy heart will quake and shake at it; the least sinne that ever 
thou didst commit, though thou makest a light matter of it, is a greater evill than 
the paines of the damned in hell, setdng aside their sinne ; all the torments in 



hell are not so great an evil as the least sinne is ; men begin to shrink at this, 
and loathe to go down to hell and to be in endless torments." And his son-in- 
law, Rev. Thomas Shepard, of Newtown, Massachusetts, put the matter thus, in 

his " Sincere Convert : " "Jesus Christ is not got with a wet finger 

It is a tough work, a wonderful hard matter to be saved." And again : " 'Tis a 
thousand to one if ever thou bee one of that small number whom God hath 
picked out to escape this wrath to come." 

Something akin to the unloveliness of spirit which manifested itself as being 
in part, at least, the result of inordinate preaching on the doctrines which have 
been named, was reflected, in the earlier colonial days, by their church edifices, or 
" meeting-houses," as the Puritans preferred to call them. Doubdess they built 
them in given cases, perhaps in most cases, as well as was possible at the time, 
and with emphasis, it may be said that the impulse which led to their construc- 
tion was worthy of all praise, but nothing can be conceived more bald and 
ugly than many of these structures, of which the earliest and most primitive type 
was a simple, square log-house, with clay-filled chinks, surmounted by steep 
roofs, thatched with long straw or grass, and often with only the beaten earth 
for a floor. The second form or type of New England church architecture was a 
square wooden building, usually unpainted, covered with a truncated pyramidal 
roof, — surmounted, if the church could afford that, with a belfry or turret contain- 
ing a bell. The third form of the meeting-house was that of which the "Old 
South," at Boston, Massachusetts, was a model. This has too many representa- 
tives in the New England States at the present day, to need any description. In 
the stage of New England life which followed its first phase, these buildings 
were usually placed upon the hill-tops, and some of the hills were so steep, 
especially in one Connecticut parish, that church attendants could not ride down 
on horseback, but were forced to scramble down, leading their horses, and to 
mount from a horse-block at the foot of the hill. These early churches were 
destitute of shade ; curtains and window-blinds were unknown, and they often 
had grotesque decorations, — grinning wolves' heads nailed under the windows 
and by the side of the door, while splashes of blood, which had dripped from the 
severed necks, reddened the logs beneath, — the meeting-house being the place 
where these ornaments were to be .fastened up to secure the bounty given for 
hunting and slaying them. Around the meeting-house, upon the " green," stood 
the stocks, the whipping-post, the pillory and cage, and on the weekly lecture-days, 
the stocks and pillory were often occupied by convicted wrong-doers. And hard-by 
were to be seen the "Sabbath-Day Houses," in which small buildings the families 
of the Puritans took refreshment at noon on the Lord's Day, and in the winters 
warmed themselves by the fires that had no place in the icy houses of worship ; — 
the boys, in some parishes, the meanwhile, listening to Biblical E.xpositions, or 
to the reading of another sermon to keep them quiet during the " nooning." 



All this was far away from the Old World surroundings in which many of 
the settlers had worshiped, and far away, too, from any tendency to aesthetic 
culture ; but let it not be forgotten that in these homely places the men and 
women met for Christian services, who, with others, laid broad and deep the 
foundations alike of civil and religious freedom on this continent. 

With limitations, a picture somewhat similar to that of the New England 
Puritan clergyman might truthfully be drawn concerning the clergy of the 
Reformed Dutch Church in the United States. Although the Dutch came to 
America for purposes of trade, their West India Company having been chartered 


in Holland in 1621, and although it was the Company itself which formally 
established the Church of Holland in America, and promised themselves to 
maintain ministers (no call upon a minister being valid unless endorsed by the 
Company), the staunch convictions of the Dutch clergy made themselves felt by 
their people as an element of power for their spiritual development. Thirteen 
Dutch ministers came out to New Amsterdam (New York) prior to the surrender 
of that colony to England in 1664, and there were, at that date, eleven Dutch 
churches in America, served by seven clergymen. If by reason of the facts 
already stated, the Dutch minister fell in any measure below his New England 


clerical brother in the possession and exercise of personal authority, it was by 
reason of the same facts, in part, that his remove from the ordinary life of the 
community was less pronounced, and his familiarity with all classes more inti- 
mate. Historically, the flavor of a Dutch "Dominie's" social and ministerial 
relations to his people has in it something of especial attractiveness to one keen to 
apprehend, and broad enough to appreciate it, and the churches of that com- 
munion, if they do not form in our day one of the largest religious denomina- 
tions, have, as yet, "kept the 'ancient' faith" in its purity, — always the 
exponents of soundness in doctrine and in life. 

Far different, in the outward conditions of his work, from those which have 
surrounded nearly all other Protestant clergymen in the United States, was the 
early experience of the Methodist minister, but the effect of his ministry has not 
been less potent, and has been more far-reaching than that of many other clergy- 
men, covering with benign results widespread regions of the country. His direct 
errand, it was long since understood, has been, as the phrase goes, to the masses 
in the community, and the ecclesiastical system through which its founder in 
America sought to discharge that errand has been found to be adapted to its 
end in a remarkable degree. It was Francis Asbury (i 745-181 6) who brought it 
to our shores, from England. He had learned it from John Wesley. And one 
does not go aside from the truth who reckons the "circuit riding" feature of the 
system to have been the life-blood of its power, for many years at least, after the 
establishment of Methodism in this country. Its essence lay in the setting 
apart of definite portions of country for steady visitation by the Rider, who was 
the preacher for that region, and his constant travel through his circuit, for the 
purpose of holding preaching services whenever and wherever he could 'get a 
hearing. It is a somewhat curious fact that when he came to the colonies from 
England, in 1771, Asbury found the very few Methodist preachers who were here 
disinclined to circuit labor. But he knew its working in England and in Wales 
by far too well to desist from the attempt to establish it. Always making him- 
self a practical circuit-rider, whatever his relations to a given church, he traveled 
thousands of miles each year after his appointment to the Bishopric, in labors 
and in exposure a measure of which it is far easier to conceive of than it would 
be to experience, in the performance of his duties. He succeeded in fastening 
the circuit system upon the polity of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the 
United States, and the records of its working and results in the newer portions 
of the country, at the hands of Peter Cartwright and his compeers, are among 
the most alluring and stimulating in all religious history. "Riders" were from 
the new converts to Christ, thrust at once into circuit work, trained for their 
careers by assiduous study of the Bible, by the exercise of prayer, and by actual 
experience of continuous preaching, which was prosecuted, with little or no 
intermission, from Sunday morning until the next Sunday night, not seldom to the 


extent of three sermons each day and evening. The Rider met his Presiding Elder 
and his fellow-preacliers of other circuits, at fixed seasons, to malce and to hear 
reports of work, and, once a year, to receive or hear of new appointments ; he 
left behind him in almost every place where he got a hearing a Methodist "Class," 

(/« this vie^u the spires are shown as they ■will be when complete.) 

which kept the embers of religious faith and service more or less actively in 
glow until he came again. The matter and the method of his preaching were, 
for the most part, intended and adapted to move "the unconverted." His speech 
was utterly without "enticing words of man's wisdom," nor was the "fear of 



man" at any time before his eyes in such degree as to rule him. In this last 
respect, if ever upon earth servants of Christ spoke "not as pleasing men, but 
God, who trieth the hearts," that was their way of speech. Generally these preach- 
ers met their "lions by the way." For the most part, the worldly-wise in society 
scorned them ; " lewd fellows of the baser sort " not only despised, but perse- 
cuted them, not infrequently to the extent of personal violence. Forbearing, 
however, to the verge of unlimited patience, the "Rider" endured their opposition 
with but little attempt at resistance ; although the instances are not wanting in 
which,- if goaded to the quick, he demonstrated his standing in the Church Mili- 
tant by encountering the adversary upon his own ground and thrashing him by 
the arm of physical force. More than once in such case the adversary was 
afterwards found at the Rider's meetings, and was there led to the adoption of 
his faith and to entry upon his own kindred career. 

The work of these circuit preachers, moreover, was successful, tried by the 
most rigid standards. They did that which was given them to do with 
effectiveness, bringing men and women, from all classes, into the kingdom of 
Christ, and planting Methodist churches in every part of the land. That this 
work was performed with little pecuniary remuneration to the " Riders," * is a 
matter of secondary moment, save as it witnessed to the fervid zeal of those 
who wrought it. An American author, Edward Eggleston, in his book, "The 
Circuit Rider," has painted the facts of this Christian ministry in such guise as 
not only conserves them, but invests the record of this labor with graphic interest. 

In cursorily tracing the more prominent of the influences and agencies that 
have determined religious spirit and history in this country, inquiry as to 
individuals who have had especial part in its development, is alike pertinent 
and rewarding. Among men of the former generations who contributed to 
this, in the pulpit, and through the press, discriminating judgment long ago 
fixed upon Jonathan Edwards, the elder (1703-1758), as the greatest of all, 
in more directions than one. Whether Edwards be viewed as preacher, meta- 
physician, or theologian, his was a mind the equal of which has not often 
been given to the world. And this may be said, whether estimate be taken 
of his mental resources, as they were displayed in the work of his life, 
or rating be had of the influence his writings now exert in America and 
elsewhere. Extraordinary indeed must have been the preaching quality of 
a man about whose sermons it has lately been said, — " the traditions still 
linger in New England of the effect they produced. One man has recorded 
that as he listened to him discoursing of the Day of Judgment he fully 
anticipated that the dreadful day would begin when the sermon should come 

* Asbury's salary as Bishop was never more than J64 per annum, and $ic, to ;J20 in cash, for the 
same period, was a fair stipend for the " Rider." 


to an end ! " He was the greatest preacher of his age. It is only at rare 
intervals that a man endowed with such a power appears. His effectiveness 
did not lie in voice or gesture. He was accustomed to lean, it is said, upon one 
arm, fastening his eyes upon some distant point in the meeting-house. But 
beneath the quiet manner were the fires of a volcano. His gravity of character, 
his profundity of spiritual insight, his intense realism, as if the ideal were the 
only real, his burning devotion, his vivid imagination, his masterful will, these 
entered into his sermons. He was like some organ of vast capacity, whose 
strongest stops or combinations should never have been drawn. The account 
has been left to us of the impression he produced in the little village of Enfield, 
in Connecticut, where he went to preach one Sunday morning, in the month of 
July, 1 741. The congregation had assembled in its usual mood, with no special 
interest or expectation. The effect of the sermon was as if some supernatural 
apparition had frightened the people beyond control. They were convulsed in 
tears of agony and distress. Amid the tears and outcries, the preacher pauses, 
bidding them to be quiet, in order that he may be heard. This was the sermon 
which, if New England has forgiven, it has never been able to forget. Its title was, 
" Sinners in the hands of an angry God." The text was a weird passage from 
the book of Deuteronomy: — "their feet shall slide in due time."* 

Of the American ministry of George Whitefield (17 14-1770) it is unneces- 
sary to speak in detail. Born in England, he made seven visits to the American 
colonies, and the results of his Evangelistic tours were shared by the Congre- 
gational, the Presbyterian, and the Baptist churches, from Massachusetts to 
Georgia. He early became Calvinistic in his views, and association with 
Calvinistic divines in America deepened his convictions. His repute as perhaps 
the most marvelous and persuasive of modern pulpit orators fixes his place in 
religious history. His intense energy and devotion to his work were attested 
by the fact that he preached his last sermon at Exeter, N. H., although then ill, 
the day before he died. A friend remarked to him that he was more fit to go 
to bed than to preach. "Yes," said he ; then pausing, he added, "Lord, Jesus, 
I am weary in Thy work, but not of it." An immense audience gathered 
to hear him. At first he labored ; but soon all his faculties responded for a last 
great effort, and he held the multitude spellbound for two hours. He proceeded 
to Newburyport the same day. In the evening as he took his candle to go to 
bed, many who were gathered in the hall tempted him to an exhortation, which 
continued until the candle burned out in the socket. The next morning he was 
dead. His latest, and perhaps his best biographer is Tyerman : " Life of 
George Whitefield," London, 1876, 2 vols. 

Nathaniel Emmons, of Massachusetts (i 745-1840), was another of the lights 

* Jonathan Edwards: By A. V. G. Allen. Boston, iSgo, pp. 126, 127. 



of the New England Ministry. Both by his preaching and by his writings upon 
theology, he did much to shape the religious thought of his own and of succeed- 
ing time in New England. To these sources of his power is to be added his 
effective work as a private instructor of men for the ministry. His house at 
Franklin, in his native State, was a seminary, and the number of clergymen 
fitted by him for the pulpit is thought to have been nearly one hundred. 
The strong common-sense points of his system of theological thought have 
been so long incarnated in the so-called Orthodox preaching of our own day, 
that it is a strange sensation by virtue of which we may conceive of them as 
new in his generation. The distinctive Emmonsian points were as follows : — 
I. Holiness and sin consist in 
free voluntary exercises. 2. Men 
act freely under the Divine 
agency. 3. The least trans- 
gression of the Divine Law 
deserves eternal punishment. 
4. Right and Wrong are founded 
in the nature of things. 5. God 
exercises mere grace in pardon- 
ing or justifying penitent be- 


lievers through the atonement of Christ, and mere goodness in rewarding them 
for their good works. 6. Notwithstanding the total depravity of sinners, God 
has a right to require them to turn from sin unto holiness. 7. Readers of the 
Gospel ought to exhort sinners to love God, repent of sin, and believe in Christ 
immediately. 8. Men are active, not passive in regeneration. 

Practically a disciple of Emmons in his theology, Lyman Beecher, of 
Connecticut (i 775-1 863), profoundly moved men in his career as minister and 
educator. Without doubt his most effective work was wrought in his renowned 
pastorates at Litchfield, Connecticut, and at Boston, Massachusetts. In Boston 
he encountered and antagonized the prevalent Unitarianism, dealing it heavy 


blows by the strength of his intellect, the fervor of his heart, and the eloquence 
of his lips, in his defense of the " faith once delivered to the saints." His 
ministration in the same city, as well as at Litchfield, was marked by remarkable 
revivals of religion. His "Six Sermons on Intemperance," published in 1826, 
rang out as a trumpet blast, not only over the land, but were reprinted abroad 
in more languages than one, and have greatly promoted the temperance reform. 
He was, moreover, a theological student, and for twenty years was President 
and theological professor at Cincinnati, Ohio. His "Autobiography and 
Correspondence," edited by his son, Charles, was published in two volumes 
in 1865. 

His son, Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1889), was graduated at Amherst 
College, in 1834, and at Lane Theological Seminary, in Ohio, under his father's 
teaching and presidency, in 1837. He was pastor, successively, of the Presby- 
terian churches at Lawrenceburg and Indianapolis, Ind. (1837-1846), and then 
of Plymouth Congregational Church in Brooklyn, N. Y., — his ministry in his 
last pastorate dating from the founding of the church, in 1847, to his death. 
For many years he was the most widely known and the most popular preacher 
in America, — all the more so, it has justly been said, because of his unconven- 
tionalities. From the first he used his pulpit, as also his extended personal 
influence, for the promotion of social reforms, — notably as the center of the 
sharpest opposition to human slavery in the United States. His wit and humor 
were integral qualities, and had their pronounced place in his sermons, which 
were profoundly earnest, eloquent, imaginative, poetical. Rare and attractive 
personality was largely the source of his power, which was always thrown in 
the direction of freedom, whether of body or of mind. His influence in the 
Civil War of 1861-65 may fairly be reckoned as one of the stronger elements 
in the determination of the contest, Mr. Beecher's work in Great Britain in 
1863 contributing largely to the enlightenment of public opinion in that 
country concerning questions at issue in the struggle. The dissemination of 
his utterances by the public press added immensely to his repute. In 1848 he 
shared in establishing the New York Independent, of which he was, at the start, 
an associate editor, and from 1861 to 1863 its responsible editor. From 1870 
to 1880 he (nominally) edited The Christian Union. His books were numerous, 
that which manifests serious study being his " Life of Christ," left incomplete 
by its author. Without doubt the purpose of his ardent and laborious life 
was to bring men into fealty and attachment to Jesus Christ, and the tendency 
of his career as a religious teacher was to loosen the hold upon men of the older 
tenets of theological doctrine. 

The work of Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1875), one of the most influen- 
tial of American ministers, falls under two heads, — that of revival preacher and 
theological instructor. In each of these relations his power was extraordinary. 



His logical force and rhetorical abilitywere such that it is fairly to be questioned 
if he have not precedence, among American clergy, as the leader of men of all 
classes to embrace a religious life. His appeals were taken to their consciences, 
rather than to their emotions, and made the conscience tremble and quake by 
the most searching analysis of the motives of the heart. During the last seven- 
teen years of his life he was instructor in theology, pastor, and college president 
at Oberlin, Ohio. The latest and most compact biography of Mr. Finney is that 
by Professor G. F. Wright, published in 1 891, but his "Autobiography" (New 
York, 1876) will never be superseded, either as an interesting portraiture of the 
man, or as an interpretation of his life and work. 

It remains to indicate in brief the present standpoints in religious thought 
and activity of some of the leading Protestant denominations in the country. 

The Society of Friends, with George Fox, of 
England (i 624-1 690), as its founder, with one 
hundred and twenty thousand members in the 
United States, was divided in 1827 into two 
bodies, — the Evangelical or Orthodox, and the 
Liberal or Hicksite, — the last named now num- 
bering in the United States about 40,000. It has 
as its most marked peculiarity in doctrine, the 
belief in the immediate influence of the Holy 
Spirit of God, and its expectadon of the guidance 
of the Spirit, in worship, and in all religious acts. 
This might degenerate into mysticism, were it 
not corrected by the Society's full recognition of 
the inspiration and authority of the Holy Scrip- 
tures. Quakerism, to use its older name, pro- 
vides that all its members shall receive a good 
pracdcal education, and cherishes also the higher learning. It has colleges at 
Haverford, Pa., Richmond, Ind., Wilmington, O., Oskaloosa, la., and Swarth- 
more. Pa. (the last, Hicksite), and one for girls at Bryn Mawr, Pa. There are 
excellent boarding schools in most of the yearly meetings. The congregadons 
are grouped together to constitute monthly, quarterly, and yearly meedngs ; 
of the last there are sixteen in America. 

It is esdmated that the Regular or Calvinistic Bapdsts comprise about 
one-fourth of the Protestants of the United States. These Christians hold 
that the New Testament furnishes examples of, and enjoins the receipt as 
candidates for membership in the churches, only from among those who give 
credible evidence of their faith in Jesus Christ as their Saviour. And they 
insist, therefore, that only those candidates for bapdsm are to be accepted 
who are professed believers in Jesus. They have no authoritative creed, 



and no ecclesiastical government beyond that of each church over its own 
members. The American Baptist Missionary Union (Boston, Mass.) is the 
Society through which the Baptists of the Northern States carry on their 
foreign missionary work. The Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptists 
is also actively at work in Asia, Africa, Italy, South America, and Mexico. 
Both the Northern and Southern Baptists vigorously sustain home missionary 
operations. This denomination has also seven theological seminaries, with over 
four hundred students ; thirty-nine colleges, with more than forty-three hundred 
students, and seventy-five academies, with over ninety-two hundred students. 

The Methodist body in this country is at present divided into Methodist 
Episcopalian (North and South), Methodist Protestant, American Wesleyan, 
Free Methodist, African Methodist Episcopal, and African M. E. Zion Churches. 
Its doctrine is Arminian as opposed to Calvinistic, and agrees in all essentials 
with the Wesleyan theology of Great Britain. There is scarcely anything 
distinctive in these articles, the design of John Wesley (i 703-1 791) being to 
prepare a broad platform upon which a body of Christian believers might stand 
and work in love. Their tenets may be found in Wesley's doctrinal sermons, 
his Notes on the New Testament, and in other writings which have come to be 
recognized as standards. Its Book Concern, started in 1 789 on a borrowed capital 
of j^6oo, for the purpose of supplying its members with religious literature, had in 
1890 a net capital of $3,000,000, and during the previous forty years its sales 
had amounted to more than 5^45,000,000. Of its gains for 1890, $100,000 went to 
the support of superannuated preachers, and to the widows and orphans of 
deceased ministers. Its Missionary Society, domestic and foreign, organized 
in 18 19, besides caring for destitute people within the United States, supported 
missions, in the year 1890, in South America, Mexico, Africa, China, India, 
Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Bulgaria, and Italy. 
The fact that the Methodist Church in the United States is preeminently the 
Church of the common people, has been noted, although this merit is shared by 
the Baptist churches of the country. 

The Congregational form of church life in the United States, in its latest 
development, takes its name from the prominence which it gives to the congre- 
gation of believers, holding that any local company of Christian people con- 
federated by mutual agreement and by covenant with God, is a Christian church ; 
which, through such organization, enters a great sisterhood of equal churches 
of like faith and order, — and every such church governs itself, under the guidance 
of God's Holy Spirit, according to its understanding of the Holy Scriptures. 
-'As a church polity the system has two fundamental principles; on the one 
hand the independence of every such local church of all outward control, save 
that of its Great Head ; and on the other hand its obligation to live in sisterly rela- 
tion with every other, taking and giving counsel and friendly aid as need requires, 



and working with all others for the glory of God in the redemption of men. 

By its spirit and its history it is closely associated with the prosecution of 

missions at home and abroad, and 
with the promotion of secular edu- 
cation. At the present time it has 
in the country, seven theological 
seminaries, and for the last five 
years its statistics show a net annual 


gain of nearly 1 12 churches, with almost 16,000 members, /^-r ammm. 

All the Presbyterian churches of the country are understood to hold, in 
doctrine, to the supreme headship of Jesus Christ ; involving submission to His 


law contained in the Christian Scriptures as the only rule of practice ; the parity 
of the ministry, as ambassadors of the Supreme Head of the Church ; participa- 
tion of the people in the government of the Church through officers chosen by 
them ; the unity of the Church involving an authoritative control, not by indi- 
vidual, but by representative courts. In its General Assembly (Northern) of 
1890, a movement was inaugurated for the revision of its doctrinal standards, 
lookine toward softening some of their more rigid Calvinistic features, but the 
polity and the spirit of this body of Christian believers is strongly adverse tG 
haste in changes that have any bearing upon fundamentals in faith and practice. 

This Church has been, and is to day, the consistent and persistent advocate 
and promoter of Christian Missions in America and over the world, and the body 
of its membership has always been found, as it may be found to-day, among the 
most intelligent and influential men and women in the land. Their zeal and 
effort for the public welfare is always awake, and is always put forth alike for 
the establishment and the upholding of piety, righteousness, and good order in 
the State. 

Outward development in the Protestant Episcopal churches of the United 
States has gone forward, of late years, in a swift ratio of increase, which promises 
well for the future of this, the oldest of the Protestant bodies in America. The 
new era in its growth and extension dates from 1835, when it awoke to the 
importance of domestic missions, enlarging and reconstituting its Missionary 
Board. In the light of recent occurrences it may be questioned whether loyalty 
to its doctrinal system be as emphatically insisted upon, as at some periods in the 
past, but the doctrinal flux and reflux which appears in some dioceses may be 
observed in other communions of Christians, and has ordinarily been a feature 
of general ecclesiastical development throughout the world's history. Its 
Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society was founded in 1820, and missions 
are now sustained by it in Mexico, Africa, China, and Japan. There are some 
twenty-five colleges and theological seminaries. 

Of the Roman Catholic organization in this country, — with this peculiarity, 
that, among all bodies of American Christians, it alone acknowledges the spiritual 
headship of an official not only a foreigner by birth, but permanently resident 
abroad, — it is correct to say that the fundamental doctrine of its system is the 
Church, so defined as to identify it with the visible church, distinguished by the 
government of the hierarchy or priesthood, and the administration of the sacra- 
ments. The Church, moreover is infallible. Therefore, Holy Scripture and tra- 
dition are put by it upon the same level. Through the Church, among true 
Catholics, men gain a " sense " for truth, and hence in the Church men under- 
stand the Scriptures and the truth, as is impossible without. The Bible thus 
becomes but a portion of the complex of Church teaching, which bears with it the 
authority of God. In doctrine, the Roman Church teaches that justification of 




sinners is the making; men righteous, not declaring them to be so ; justification 
by faith being rejected, and 
the necessity of good 
works to salvation being 
emphasized. The sacra- 
ments of the Church, more- 
over, are the means of 
the conferment of divine 
grace, and "always and 


i i 

I i 







4 N 





to all convey the 

gface," when they are 


f The Unitarian 

school of religious 

thought has been 

known in the United 

^^ States, as elsewhere, 

■j^ V -'-^^ for its opposition to 

Trinitarianism (popu- 
larly known as the doctrine of three persons in one God) in the steady assertion 


and maintenance of the unity of the Divine existence. Rev. Dr. Joseph Priestley 
( 1 773-1 804), one of its earlier and abler advocates, came to Philadelphia from 
England in 1792. The general form of doctrine which he preached, rested, in his 
contention, upon the basis of the Holy Scriptures as an inspired and final authority, 
but its interpretations of religion were greatly influenced by the philosophy of John 
Locke (i 632-1 704). Before Priestley reached this country, however, the first 
Episcopal church in New England (at Boston, Mass.), had become the first 
distinctively Unitarian church in America — Rev. James Freeman (i 759-1835), 
the first minister in the United States who assumed the Unitarian name, being 
ordained their Rector in November, 1 787. Under him all reference to the Trinity 
was struck out from the book of Common Prayer. When Rev. Henry Ware, 
of Hingham, Mass., a decided Arminian and Unitarian, was elected (1805) to the 
Hollis Professorship of Divinity at Harvard College, Mass., controversy broke 
out in New England, which was prosecuted with vigor for many years. Rev. Dr. 
William Ellery Channing (i 780-1 842) was the most distinguished leader and 
representative of Unitarianism in this discussion. Under his guidance the 
radonal and ethical movement which he urged had a theology based upon a 
free interpretation of the New Testament, accepting the Bible as inspired in a 
special sense, and appealing to miracles in attestadon of the claims of Chrisdanity. 
Semi-Arian views of the nature and rank of Jesus prevailed. The doctrine of 
the Trinity was treated as metaphysical speculation. The Evangelical theory 
of the Atonement was exchanged for one exhibiting the moral example of Jesus. 
Later on, the dogma of everlasting punishment was abandoned. Under the 
diffusion of German thought, the rise of transcendentalism and the influence of 
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-18S2) and Theodore Parker (18 10-1860), Unitarian- 
ism has passed through important transitions, having ceased to appeal primarily to 
the Scripture text, and recognizing the Bible rather as a body of sacred literature. 
"It turns less to tradition and more to the individual reason and conscience; it 
has ceased to refer to miracles for the evidence of Christianity. Truth, it affirms, 
furnishes its own verification. Arian views of Jesus have gradually given place 
to those distinctly humanitarian. Sympathetic in its attitude toward science, 
Unitarianism was among the first forms of Christianity to welcome the philosophy 
of evolution. It has been hospitable to studies in comparative mythology and 
comparative religion. Under these influences there is perhaps more uniformity 
of doctrine and belief among Unitarians to-day than ever before. Christianity 
is regarded less as a special revelation from God and more as a manifestation of 
the one ereat religion."* The American Unitarian Association was ororanized at 
Boston, Mass., in 1825. The next, bearing distinctively the Unitarian name, was 
the Western Unitarian Conference, organized at Cincinnati, O., in 1852. The 

* S. J. Barrows in " Concise Dictionary of Religious Knowledge," p. 934. 


National Conference of Unitarian and other Christian churches was formed in 
New York city in 1865. Since the close of the Civil War (1861-65) no less than 
thirty conferences of churches of this denomination have been established in the 
country, and fifteen other organizations — educational, philanthropic, or missionary 
in character, — making nearly fifty associations which have sprung from the 
cooperative work of Unitarian churches (of which there are now about four 
hundred in the United States) in the last twenty-five years. There is a denomi- 
national theological school at Meadville, Pa. 

It is confidently asserted that the " Book of Mormon," the basis of " The 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," in the Territory of Utah, where the 
Mormons settled in 1847, is, in its authorship, the production of some divine of 
the " Disciple " persuasion — an adherent of Mr. Alexander Campbell, founder 
of the " Campbellites," who was born in Ireland in 1778 and died in West 
Virginia (U. S. A.) in 1866. But all authorities agree that Joseph Smith, of 
New York (i 805-1844), Mormon founder and prophet, obtained possession of 
the book, September 22, 1827. The doctrine and covenants of this organization 
are to be found in the third Sacred Book of the Mormon Church. The marvels 
of its propagandism in various parts of the world have never been surpassed. 
Their results have demonstrated, among other things, however, that little can be 
accomplished by Mormon missionaries except in Protestant countries. England, 
Wales, Scotland, British India, Ceylon, British Guiana, the Cape of Good Hope, 
the West Indies, Canada, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Malta, Gibraltar, 
France, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Scandinavia, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, 
Mexico, Chili, China and Siam, the Sandwich Islands, the Society Islands, and 
Jerusalem have all been the theatres for the labors of the courageous preachers 
of this sect. Its comparatively recent dismissal of the doctrine of polygamy from 
its revelations of the Divine Will, be it reality or pretense, strengthens the hope 
that this Protestant cancer is to be eliminated from the American body politic 
at no distant day. The population of the Territory, in 1890, was 207,905, and 
the Governor of Utah is authority for the statement that the proportion between 
Mormon and Gentile voters in the Territory was seven to five. This Gentile 
preponderance is another element which goes toward the solution of the 
Mormon problem. The "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day 
Saints," which had its first conference in 1852, and now has headquarters, with 
a large publishing house, at Lamoni, la., which at that conference disowned the 
leadership of the Mormon officials in Utah, must also help toward this issue. In 
1890 it had a total membership in the United States of 21,773, in thirty-six 
States and three Territories, including that of Utah. It accepts three books as 
of divine origin : " First, the Bible ; second, the Book of Mormon ; third, the Book 
of Covenants. The latter consists of the revelations given to the Church in the 
present century as a guide in church government. The Book of Mormon is 


accepted as a history of the ancient inhabitants of America and the revelation 
given them by God, beginning at a period 2000 years before Christ and continu- 
ing until 400 years after Christ. In doctrine they adhere to the Trinity, to the 
atonement by Jesus Christ, to the resurrection of the dead, to the second coming 
of Christ, and to the Eternal Judgment, believing that each individual will receive 
reward or punishment, in strict measure, according to the good or evil deeds done 
in life. They hold that men are to be saved by faith in God and Christ, by 
forsaking sin, by immersion for the remission of sin, and by the laying on of 
hands. They believe that revelations of God are still given by the Holy Spirit 
for the guidance of the Church, and that the gifts, blessings, and powers of the 
Holy Spirit in Bible times are continual. Their order of church government is 
such as they find authority for in the New Testament, and such as they under- 
stand that the apostolic Church observed. It includes the presidency, consisting, 
when full, of three persons, which is given jurisdiction over the whole Church as 
its chief presiding authority ; twelve apostles, whose special duty is to take charge 
of all missionary work abroad ; one or more quorums of seventy, who are set 
apart from the body of elders and assist the apostles ; high priests who have 
charge over States and districts ; priests' or pastors, teachers and deacons and 
bishops, of whom three are set at the head of the business affairs of the Church. 
Other bishops and agents assist in collecting the tithes. As to marriage, they 
believe that it is ordained of God, and that there should be but one companion 
for man or woman in wedlock, until the contract is broken by death or trans- 
gression. They characterize the doctrine of polygamy, or plural wives, as an 
abomination." * 

The reader who has carefully weighed the statements of this chapter 
must conclude that the gfrowth of relig-ious life which has marked the first 
two and a half centuries of history in the United States compels its own 
recognition by the student of that history, as imperatively as does the advance- 
ment of the country in any feature of its development. If, in the nature of 
the case, its successive phases have had less instant, and at times less startling 
impressiveness, they have not been the less real, less influential, or less 
susceptible of estimate. Religious sentiment, not to say religious principle, has 
a deeper hold upon the American people, to-day, than it has ever had. The 
Churches that are its exponents hold still more and wider power, and are always 
to be reckoned with in the administration of public affairs. The time has passed, 
if it ever existed, when public men in the United States venture, by policy or by 
measure, to affront, for long, this religious sense of their constituents. It is in 
place to add that, besides the growing persuasion of that absolute equality of 

* From the Bulletin of Church Statistics, U. S. Census of 1890. 



religious relations among individuals in the nation which was a principle in the 
genius of the old Hebrew Commonwealth, the three most significant aspects of 
American religious development, in 1892, are the accelerating progress of our 
Christian Churches toward catholicity of spirit, — their steadily awakening zeal in 
effort for the welfare of the poorer classes in society, — and the organized agency 
of woman in the religious and benevolent activities which are the charm and 
glory of our civilization. 




ODERN democracy is often looked upon as something 
peculiarly secular, unreligious, or even irreligious in its origin. 
In truth, however, it has its origin in religious aspirations quite 
as much as modern art, or architecture, or literature. To the 
theology of Calvin, the founder of the Republic of Geneva, 
grafted upon the sturdy independence of English and Scotch 
middle classes, our American democracy owes its birth. James 
I well appreciated that the principles of uncompromising 
Protestantism were as incompatible with monarchy as with the hierarchy which 
they swept aside. Each man by this theology was brought into direct personal 
responsibility to his God, without the intervention of priest, bishop, or Pope, and 
without any allegiance to his king except so far as it agreed with his allegiance 
to the King of kings. Macaulay has struck this note of Puritan republicanism 
when he says that the Puritans regarded themselves as " Kings by the right of 
an earlier creation ; priests by the interposition of an Almighty hand." As 
John Fiske says, James Stuart always treasured up in his memory the day 
when a Puritan preacher caught him by the sleeve and called him " God's silly 
vassal." "A Scotch Presbytery," he cried, "agreed as well with monarchy as 
God and the Devil. Then Jack and Tom and Will and Dick shall meet, and at 
their pleasure censure me and my council and all our proceedings ! " 

But the democracy which was founded in New England as the logical 
outcome of the religious principles for which the Puritans left Old England 
was not democracy as we know it to-day. The Puritans for the most part 
believed in divinely appointed rulers as much as the monarchs against whom 
they rebelled ; but the divinely appointed rulers were the "elect of God" — 
those who believed as they did, and joined with their organizations to establish 
His kingdom on earth. For this reason we find the Massachusetts Colony as 
early as 1631 decided that "No man shall be admitted to the freedom of this 
body politic but such as are members of some of the churches within the limits 
of the same." The government, in short, was simply a democratic theocracy, and 



as the colony grew in numbers, the power came to be lodged in the hands of the 
minority. There were, however, among the clergy of Massachusetts men who 
believed in democracy as we understand it to-day. Alexander Johnson in his 
history of Connecticut says with truth that Thomas Hooker, who led from 
Massachusetts into Connecticut the colony which established itself at Hartford, 
laid down the principle upon which the American nation long generations after 
was to be established. When Governor Winthrop, in a letter to Hooker, defended 
the restriction of the suffrage on the ground that " the best part is always the 
least, and of that best part the wiser part is always the lesser," the learned and 
generous-hearted pastor replied : "In matters which concern the common good, 
a general council, chosen by all to transact business which concerns all, I 
conceive most suitable to rule, and most safe for relief of the whole." The 
principles of our republicanism were never better stated until Lincoln in his 
oration at Gettysburg made his appeal that this nation might be consecrated 
anew in the fulfillment of its mission, and that government "from the people, 
for the people, by the people," might not perish from the earth. Both Hooker 
and Lincoln had a supreme belief in the wisdom of the plain people in much of 
the matters which affect their own lives. The rank and file of the people have 
the surest instinct as to what will benefit or injure the rank and file of the 
people, and when upon them is placed the responsibility of determining what 
their government shall be, they are educated for self-government. In the 
colony which Thomas Hooker founded upon these principles there was found at 
the time of the Revolution more political wisdom, more genius for self-govern- 
ment, and more devotion to the patriotic cause than in any other of the thirteen 

At the time of the Revolution, however, there was another democracy 
besides that of New England, which enabled the colonies successfully to resist 
the Government of George III. It was the democracy of the planters of the 
South. The democracy of the Southern colonies was not like that in New 
England, the democracy of collective self-government, but the democracy of 
individual self-government, or, rather, of individual self-assertion. In fact, it 
would hardly be too much to say that many of the Virginia planters who espoused 
so warmly and fought so bravely in the cause of liberty were not inspired by 
the spirit of democracy at all, but rather by the spirit of an aristocracy which 
could brook no control. These Southern planters were the aristocrats of the 
American Revolution. In New York city, and even in Boston and Philadelphia, 
the wealthiest merchants were strongly Tory in their sympathies. In New York 
it was affirmed by General Greene that two-thirds of the land belonged to men 
in sympathy with the English and out of sympathy with their fellow country- 
men. In these cities it was the plain people and the poorer classes who furnished 
most of the uncompromising patriots, but in the South men of fortune risked 


their fortunes in the cause of independence. These men were slave owners, 
and the habit of mastery made them fiercely rebellious when George III 
attempted in any way to tyrannize over them. Many of them were the 
descendants of the English nobility, and as such they acknowledged no 
superiors. Naturally, then, in the struggle for liberty they furnished the leaders 
of the colonists, both North and South, and the agricultural classes, whether 
rich or poor, were naturally on the side of self-government, for their isolation 
had from the first compelled them to be self-governing. 

Such, then, was American democracy at the outbreak of the Revolution. 
It had but one fundamental weakness — there was no external bond of union 
between the colonies to enable them to act in concert and vigorously. This 
was the point at which the democracies of ancient Greece had broken down, 
and the democracies of America seemed for a time in peril of sharing their fate. 
Each colony had been independent of its neighbors, and united with them only 
through their common allegiance to Great Britain. It must be remembered that 
in those days it was a seven days' journey from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, 
within the same Commonwealth, so that parts of a single colony were more 
widely separated than Massachusetts and California are to-day. There was but 
little commerce between them, and not for half a century were the iron ties of 
the railroads to begin to join them together. That colonies thus separated 
should have been able to join together and act as unitedly as they did, brings 
out better than anything else in history the superiority of the political genius 
of the Anglo-Sa.xon race to that of the ancient Greeks. Our colonists were 
able to look beyond their own neighborhoods, their own colonies, and see the 
common tie of common liberty and common interests which bound them 
together from Maine to Georgia. It was this tie of federation, which centuries 
of experience had ingrained upon the English-speaking peoples, which enabled 
the American colonists to win against a power far greater in comparison with 
their own than that with which Philip of Macedon destroyed the republics of 
Southern Greece. 

Even during the War, however, the National spirit was not strongly enough 
developed to compel the individual colonies to bear the taxation necessary for 
the support of our armies. It was for this reason that the issuing of paper 
money was almost the one resource of the Continental Congress. When the 
War was over and the sense of common danger no longer held the colonies 
together, the American Nation seemed almost to have ceased to exist. The 
enactments of the Federal Congress were simply recommendations which each 
colony could accept or not as it pleased, and it rarely pleased. The evils due 
to this disintegration have generally been exaggerated in our popular histories, 
for the reason that our greatest weakness was at the point at which all other 
nations concentrated their greatest strength. The National army was reduced 



to a corporal's guard, the National navy to nothing. Foreign powers refused to 
enter into treaties with us, because there was no central authority to which all of 
the States were bound to be subservient. When, however, we turn to the 
condition of the people in the various States, the prosperity of agriculture, and 
the growth of cities, there was no such National decay as the outer emblems of 
National power seemed to indicate. It was for this reason that when the Fed- 
eral Constitution was proposed so large a part of the people in most of the 
States were slow to accept it. Its acceptance, however, was inevitable. With- 


out it we would not only have failed to preserve a solid front toward other 
nations, but were in danger of internal complications and even wars among 
ourselves. The different States had begun to enact legislation antagonistic to 
each other, and this of course always called forth prompt retaliation. The City 
of New York had already enacted that the farmers of Connecticut and New 
Jersey could not bring supplies into the New York market without the payment 
of a tax upon them, and the market boats from what is now Jersey City had to 
pay entrance fees and obtain clearances at the Custom House, just like ships 


from London and Hamburg. Connecticut firewood could not be delivered to the 
householder in New York without the payment of a heavy duty. New Jersey 
and Connecticut were quick to resent the injustice and the injury, and the 
business men of New London agreed, under penalty of ^250 for the first offence, 
not to send any goods whatever into New York for a period of one year ; while 
New Jersey gave vent to its indignation by levying a tax of ^1800 upon a small 
patch of ground on Sandy Hook on which the City of New York had built a 
light-house. Such bickerings as these were certain soon to have destroyed 
National spirit and to have resulted in giving us thirteen nations instead of one, 
and thirteen more or less hostile to each other and helpless in the presence of a 
foreign enemy. There was again danger that the democracies of this country 
would fall as did the democracies of Greece, but finally, through the sense 
of unity which came from a common mother country, common environment, 
common institutions, and now a common history, aided by the Anglo-Saxon 
genius for co-operation, a union was established under the Federal Constitution. 

The first half century of our political history consisted rather in the devel- 
opment of the political rights of the individual citizen than of the loyalty which 
all owed to the American nation. Nothing is so difficult as to keep in mind 
that the government of the colonies at the close of the Revolution was not what 
it is to-day, and that democracy as we know it was regarded as the dream of 
theorists. Some of the members of the Federal Convention deeply distrusted 
the common people. Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts, declared that "The 
people do not want suffrage, but are the dupes of pretended patriots," and those 
who were at all in sympathy with him prevented, as they imagined, the election 
of the President by the people themselves, and did prevent the election of the 
United States Senators by the people. Some of them were even opposed to 
the election of the House of Representatives directly by the people, but fortu- 
nately, even Hamilton sided with Madison and Mason, when they urged that 
our House of Commons ought to have at heart the rights and interests of every 
class of people, and be bound, by the manner of their election, to be the repre- 
sentatives of every class of people. But by " every class of people " the framers 
of the Constitution from the more conservative of the States meant simply 
every class of freeholders. 

In Virginia none could vote except those who owned fifty acres of land. In 
New York, to vote for Governor or State Senator, a freehold worth $250 clear 
of mortgage was necessary, and to vote for Assemblymen a freehold of $50 or 
the payment of a yearly rent of $10 was necessary. Even Thomas Jefferson, 
who was the democratic philosopher of the Revolutionary period, did not 
strenuously insist that the suffrage must be universal, and it was not for a half 
century that it became universal, even among the whites. In the State of New 
York these restrictions existed until the adoption of the Constitution of 182 1, 



and even this Constitution merely reduced the privileges of land owners. 
Old Chancellor Kent, the author of " Kent's Commentaries," declared in this 
Convention that he would not "bow before the idol of universal suffrap'e," the 
theory which he said had " been regarded with terror by the wise men of 
every age," and whenever tried had brought "corruption, injustice, violence, 
and tyranny." "If universal suffrage were adopted," he declared, "posterity 
would deplore in sackcloth and ashes the delusion of the day." The horrors of 
the French Revolution were always held up by conservatives to show that the 



{This building was also called " Fort Gunnybags," from the material of the breastworks in front of it. On the roof were cannon and 

sentinels, and the alarm bell of the committee.] 

people could not be trusted, and the learned author of the " Commentaries," 
which every lawyer has pored over, saw in prophetic vision that, if universal 
suffrage should be adopted, "The radicals of England, with the force of 
that mighty engine, would sweep away the property, the laws, and the people 
of that island like a deluge." Not until between 1840 and 1850 did universal 
suffrage among the whites come to be accepted in the older States. 

During the first half century of our history it was the Democratic party, the 
party of Jefferson, which was on the side of these extensions of popular rights. 


The principle of this party was that each State ought to legislate for itself, with 
the least possible control from the central government ; that each locality ought 
to have its freedom of local government extended ; and that each individual 
should be self-governing, with the same rights and privileges for all. As regards 
foreign affairs, it was characterized by a "passion for peace," and an abiding 
hostility toward a costly army and navy. Jefferson believed that the way to 
avoid wars, and the way to be strong, should war become inevitable, was by the 
devotion of the people to productive industry, and not by burdening them to 
rival the powers of Europe in the strength of their armaments. In the year 
1800, the party which rallied to his support — then called the Republican 
party, but generally spoken of as the Democratic party — triumphed over the 

In New England alone did Federalism remain strong at the close of 
Jefferson's first administration. In that section the calvinistic clergy, who had 
done so much for the establishment of American democracy, fought fiercely 
against its extension. Jefferson's followers demanded the separation of Church 
and State and the abolition of the religious qualifications for office holding, 
which were then almost as general as property qualifications. He was known to 
be in sympathy with the French revolution, and was therefore denounced as a 
Jacobin, both in religion and in politics. We cannot wonder, therefore, that in 
the section in which the clergy were the real rulers, Jeffersonian democracy was 
regarded with hatred and contempt. Vermont alone, among the New England 
States, was from the first thoroughly democratic, and this was because in 
Vermont there was no established aristocracy, either of education or wealth. 
In Connecticut, which under clerical leadership had once been the stronghold 
of advanced democracy, we find President Dwight expressing a common 
sentiment, not only of the clergy but of the educated classes generally, when 
he declared that "the great object of Jacobinism, both in its political and moral 
revolution, is to destroy every trace of civilization in the world." " In the 
triumph of Jeffersonianism," he said, "we have now reached a consummation of 
democratic blessings ; we have a country governed by blockheads and knaves." 

But the ideas which in New England were at first received only by the 
poor and the ignorant, were in the very air which Americans breathed. The new 
States which were organized at the West were aggressively democratic from 
the outset. In the Northwest Territory the inequalities against which Jeffersonian 
democracy protested never gained a foothold. In this, which was made a State 
during Jefferson's first administration, the union of Church and State was not 
thought of and no religious qualification whatever for the office of Governor 
was exacted. Property qualifications were almost as completely set aside. 
While in some of the older States the Governor had to possess ^^5000, and 
even ^10,000, Ohio's Governor was simply required to be a resident and an 



owner of land. As regards inheritances, the English law of primogeniture^ 
which remained unaltered in some of the older States, and in New England 
generally took the form of a double portion to the oldest son, was completely 


set aside, and all children of the same parents became entitled to the same 
rights. That Ohio thus led the way in the democratic advance was due to the 
fact that its constitution was framed when these ideas had already become 


ascendant in the hearts of the people, and the failure of the clergy of New 
England was due to their trying to keep alive institutions which were the off- 
spring of another age, and could not long survive it. 

For its distrust of the new democracy New England Federalism paid 
heavily in the isolation, defeat, and destruction which shortly awaited it. When 
the new democratic administration had fully reduced Federal taxation and shown 
its capacity for government, the more liberal-minded of the Federalists went 
over to the Democrats. Even Massachusetts gave a majority for Jefferson in 
1804, and when the e.xtreme Federalists became more extreme through the loss 
of their Liberal contingent, and called the Hartford Convention, in 1808, 
Federalism died of its own excesses. The policy of the Democratic Adminis- 
tration toward England may not have been wise, but the proposal of secession 
in order to resist it made Federalism almost synonymous with toryism and 

For a number of years after the war of 181 2, there was really only one 
political party in the United States. In 1824, when the contest was so close 
between Jackson, Adams and Clay, each of these contestants was a 
" Democratic Republican," and it would have been hard to tell what 
questions of policy divided their followers, though Jackson's followers, as a rule, 
cared most for the extension of the political rights of the poorer classes, and 
cared least for the policy of protection which the war had made an important 
issue by cutting off commerce, and thus calling into being extensive manufactur- 
ing interests. That the followers of Clay finally voted for Adams may have 
been due to sympathy upon this question of the tariff. In 1828 something akin 
to party lines were drawn upon the question of the National Bank, and the 
victory of Jackson provoked the hostility of the masses toward that institution, 
which certainly enriched its stockholders to such an extent as to make them a 
favored class. The Tariff Act, passed in 1828, made the tariff question hence- 
forth the dividing question in our national politics until slavery took its place. 
Most of the absolute free-traders were supporters of Jackson, but when South 
Carolina passed its Nullification Act as a protest against the "tariff of abomi- 
nations," as it was called. President Jackson promptly declared that "the 
Union must and shall be preserved," and forced the recalcitrant State to renew 
its allegiance to the National Government. By the end of Jackson's adminis- 
tration there were again two distinct parties in the United States — the one 
advocating a high tariff and extensive National improvements by the Federal 
Government, and the other advocating a low tariff and the restriction of National 
expenditures to the lowest possible limit. The former party — the Whig — was, 
of course, in favor of a literal construction of the Constitution and the extension 
of powers to the National Government, while the latter advocated "strict 
construction" and "State rights." 



Jackson belonged to the latter party, and in 1836 was able to transfer 
the succession to Van Buren. But in 1840 the Whigs swept the country, 
electing Harrison and Tyler, after the most picturesque campaign ever fought 
in America. All the financial ills from which the country was suffering were for 
the time attributed to Van Buren's economic policy, and his alleged extrava- 
gance at the White House enabled the 
Whipfs to arouse the enthusiasm of the 
poor for their candidate, who lived in a 
log cabin, and drank hard cider. During 
the next four years, however, there 
was a reaction, and in 1844 Polk '/^ ,,^. . 
was elected upon the plat- \ /^/m 

form on which 
Van Buren 
had stood. It 


is true that in Pennsylvania the Democratic campaign cry was, " Polk, Dallas 
and the tariff of '42," which was a high tariff, but in most of the country 
Democracy meant "Free trade and Sailors' rights." 

From this time on, the Whig party grew weaker and the Democratic party 
stronger. It is true that the Whigs elected General Taylor in 1848. The 


revenue tariff law passed by the Democrats in 1846 was not changed until the 
still lower tariff of 1857 was enacted. In 1852 the Whig party was hardly 
stronger than the old Federalist party at the close of Jefferson's first term. 
But just as the Democratic party, became able to boast of its strength a new 
party came into being which adopted the principles of the free-soil wing of the 
old Democratic party, and in its second national campaign elected Abraham 
Lincoln to the presidency. In this readjustment of parties the pro-slavery 
Whigs went over to the Democrats and the anti-slavery Democrats went over 
to the Republicans. The bolting Democrats claimed, with truth, to follow the 
principles of their party from the time of Jefferson down, but the party as a 
whole followed the interests of its most powerful element instead of the princi- 
ples of its founder. In the States from Ohio west, where upon economic 
questions the Democratic party had swept everything by increasing majorities 
since 1840, the bolting element was so great that all of these States were 
landed in the Republican column. One great Church — the Methodist — which 
before had been, as a rule, Democratic in politics now became solidly Republican. 

As the war went on the Republican party became more and more loyally 
attached to the principles of liberty. It is events which educate, and the hard 
fight the slave owners made for the perpetuation of their institution educated 
the north to desire its abolition. The victory of the Secessionists at Bull Run 
turned out to be their greatest calamity. Had they been defeated there the 
Union would have been restored and slavery maintained. 

In emancipating the slaves, Lincoln, as he himself said, did not "claim 
to have controlled events, but to have been controlled by them." It was 
impossible to put down the rebellion without emancipating the slaves, and 
therefore they were emancipated. When the slaves had been given liberty, 
they were given the ballot with which to maintain it. The immediate results 
of this are still the subject of hot contention, but no one who has watched 
the eagerness of the southern negro for education, nor the liberality with 
which the southern whites are now furnishing it, can fail to recognize that 
the possession of the ballot has been a protection to the negroes, and a source 
of advancement in all things which fit men for citizenship. 

The history of American politics up to the time of the introduction of the 
new economic questions by the labor unions in the East, and the farmer's 
unions in the West and South, has been the history of the gradual extension of 
political rights. The Federalist party gave us the Constitution ; the old Demo- 
cratic party gave us white manhood suffrage ; the Republican party gave us 
universal suffrage. The glory of America's past is that she has been continu- 
ally progressing ; that she has proven to the world the capacity of the whole 
people for self-government. 



HE epoch of adventure which Bret Harte has exhibited through 
the stained elass of his romances, is not less full of color when 
seen through the clear air of history. In fact, it has more 
color, for there is less monotony of hue. California was the 
scene of daring and often grotesque adventure even before the 
discovery of gold. The explorations of Lieutenant Fremont, 
described by him In a vividly truthful report which called the 
attention of the nation to this new land, will do as much for the enduring 
fame of "The Pathfinder" as his leadership of the Republican party in its 
first great national campaign. These explorations made the possession of 
California a point most worth fighting for in the war with Mexico. The 
methods by which we obtained it were not entirely consistent with our boasted 
character as the most just and peace-loving nation of the world ; but the part 
played in it by the American pioneers who settled in California exhibits our 
strongest national traits, both good and bad, in a scene half heroic, half comic, 
which will never be forgotten. The American pioneers though far outnumbered 
by the Spaniards, found not the slightest difficulty in overthrowing their rulers 
and establishing the Bear-flag Republic. In the words of Dr. Semple, one of 
their leaders, they "borrowed" supplies on the faith of the Bear-flag Govern- 
ment, assured that " their children in generations yet to come will look back 
with pleasure upon the commencement of a revolution carried on by their 
fathers upon principles high and holy as the laws of eternal justice." Another 
of the leaders of the revolutionists crowded the citizens of the captured town 
of Sonora between the four walls of their " calaboose," and there read to them a 
proclamation explaining that " though he had for the moment deprived them of 
the liberty which is the right and privilege of all good and just men, it was only 
that they might become acquainted with his unalterable purpose to establish a 
government based upon the common rights of all men." All their proceedings, 
however, were brimful of the American spirit, and showed how the pioneers 
were inspired by a purpose which made a handful of them more than a match 
for the organized forces in guard of the Mexican province. The conquest of 




California in this war simply prevented the peaceful annexation of the territory 
io our nation a year or so later. The American pioneers who poured in and 
developed the country had the might and the right to govern it, and the 
nation gained nothing which its children prize by violating its best instincts 
in acting the part of a bully toward our weaker Southern neighbor. 

With the dis- 
covery of 
ever, C a 1 i f o r n i a 
suddenly became a 
theatre toward 
which the eyes of 
the whole world 
were turned. The 
discovery was 
made by James 
Wilson Marshal, in 
January, 1848. 
Marshal had been 
employed to con- 
struct a mill on the 
estate of a hundred 
square miles which 
General John A. 
Sutter had received 
as a grant from the 
-Spanish Govern- 
ment. Sutter's 
demesne had been 
the centre of the 
American colonies 
in California. Gen- 
eral Sutter himself, 
a Swiss by birth, 
was a 


who had shown 
himself so hospitable to all American immigrants, that he had attained to a 
certain pre-eminence in the affairs of the Territory, and was looked upon by 
many as a great and heroic figure. Up to the time of the discovery of gold 
upon his land, his fortunes had steadily mounted upward ; from that time they 
went down, down. Marshal was an American by birth, born in a country town 


in New Jersey. He, too, was a courageous and kindly visionary, though some- 
times he was aroused from his accustomed dreaminess into fierce action. His 
fortunes also became worse after his great discovery, and during his later life 
he was somewhat embittered by what he believed to be the injustice and neglect 
of his countrymen. "The enterprising energy of which the orators and editors 
of California's early golden days boasted so much, as belonging to Yankeedom," 
he wrote in 1857, "was not national but individual. Of the profits derived from 
the enterprise, it stands thus : Yankeedom, ^600,000,000 ; myself, individually, 
^000,000,000. Ask the records of the country for the reason why. They will 
answer ; I need not. Were I an Englishman, and had made my discovery on 
English soil, the case would have been different." For this last statement Mar- 
shal had some reason, for the discoverer of gold in Australia, whom Marshal 
claimed to have directed thither, received from the British Government, $25,000, 
and from the Australian Government, $50,000, while Marshal received nothing. 
So much for the discoverer. Now for the discovery. It took place on the 
afternoon of the 24th of January, just after Sutter's mill had been completed, 
and Marshal and his men had made a perilous fight for two weeks to keep the 
dam from being destroyed by the heavy rains which had set in. In this contest 
with the water Marshal had exhibited a courage which made him half deserve 
the accidental fame that came through the finding of the gold. When his men 
were exhibiting to some amazed Indians the workings of their new saw-mill. 
Marshal was inspecting the lower end of the mill-race. He came back with 
the quiet remark, " Boys, I believe I have found a gold mine." He moved off 
to his cabin, went back to the race, and then again returned to his men, directing 
them early in the morning to shut down the head-gate and see what would come 
of it. The next morning the men did as they were told, and presently Marshal 
came back looking wonderfully pleased, carrying in his arms his old white hat, 
in the top of whose crown, sure enough, lay flakes and grains of the precious 
metal. Comparing these pieces with a gold coin one of the men happened to 
have in his pocket, they saw that the coin was a little lighter in color, and 
rightly attributed this to the presence of the alloy. Then all the men hurried 
down the race, and were soon engrossed in picking gold from the seams and 
crevices laid bare by the shutting down of the head-gate. In the midst of their 
excitement doubts would sometimes arise, and some of the metal was thrown 
into vinegar and some boiled in the soap-kettle, to see if it stood these tests. 
Then Marshal went off to General Sutter, and feverish with excitement, told 
him of what had come to light. When he returned to the men he said, " O boys, 
it's the pure stuff! I and the old Cap went into a room and locked ourselves up, 
5nd we were half a day trying it, and the regulars there wondered what the 
devil was up. They thought perhaps I had found quicksilver, as the woman did 
down toward Monterey. Well, we compared it with the encyclopedia, and it 



agreed with it ; we tried aqua fortis, but it would have nothing to do with it 
Then wc; weighed it in water ; we took scales with silver coins in one side, 
balanced with the dust in the? other, and gently let them down into a basin of 
water ; and the gold went down, and the silver came up. That told the story, 
what it was." 

That did tell the story, and though .Sutter tried to keep the story a secret 
until all the work in connection with the mills had been finished, the story 
would not keep. A Swiss teamster learned it from a woman who did some of 
the cooking about the mill, received a litde of the gold, spent it for liquor at 
the nearest store, and then the fame of the discovery swiftly flew to the c;nds 

of the earth. Gen- 
eral .Sutter had 
been right in his 
endeavor to keep 
the discovery se- 
cret as long as was 
within his power, 
for no sooner did 
the gold hunters' 
invasion set in than 
it became impossi- 
ble; for him K.O get 
UK'U to work the 
mill which he had 
constructed. The 
invaders carried 
things with a high 
hand, and ended by 
setting aside his 
title to his land and 

establishing the claims which thc;y had made upon it. Never was money made 
with anything like such rapidity. Nearly every ravine contained gold in some 
quantity or other. Nobody waited to get machinery to begin work. Knives, 
picks, shovels, sticks, tin pans, woodcMi bowls, wicker baskc^ts, were the only 
implements nettled for scraping the njcky beds, sifting the sand, or washing the 
dirt for the gold. A letter in the New York yournal of Commerce, toward 
the end of August, says of the Iiunt for gold : "At present the people are 
running over the country and picking it out of the eardi her(.' and th(;re, just 
as dogs and hogs let loose in the forest wouKl root up ground-nuts. Some get 
even ten ounces a day, and the least active one; or two. They make most who 
employ the wild Indians to hunt it for them. There is one man who has sixty 


Tflli RUSH /■Oh' T/f/i Cni.n I' I HI. I). 431 

Indians under his c;m])loy. Ills profits an; a dollar a iniiini'-. 'i"li<; wild 
Indians know nolhinj^^ of its valm;, and wonder wliaL tin; pale fa(:(;s want to do 
with it, and they will },dv(; an ounce oi it f(jr tin; saiin; w<iw|ii, of coin silv<;r or a 
thimbleful of ^lass beads or a ^lass of ^roj^, and while ni< 11, themselves, ofi<ii 
give an ounce of it, which is worth in our iiiint >jl,iX or more, for a bottle of 
brandy, a bottle of soda powders, or a l>lug o( tobacco." 

'Ihis newsf)aper writer had ind<;ed some of the .Vbinchausen rpialilies that 
his fellow craftsmen have nowadays, and his ojjjjortunities for <:xag^eralion 
were increased by the remoteness of tin; scene and the inaccessibility of 
accurate information. California in those days was another |,,irt of the world. 
The journey to it overland tofjk wr;<;ks, and <;ven months, and was full of |)erils 
of starvation in case of storm and drouj^ht, and perils of slauj'hter if camps 
of hostile Indians wf:re encountered. When things went well the li(e was 
pleasant enough, and is still most picturesque to look back upon. The buffalo 
hunts, the meetings with Indians, the kindling i){ the camp fires at th<; centre of 
the great circle of wagons drawn up so as to form a bulwark against attack 
and a corral for the cattle, the story-telling in the light of these camp-fires — all 
present a picture which men will love to dwell upon so long as the m<;inory (»f 
the Argonauts survives. I'ut there were many times when the scenes were 
those of heart-sickening desolation. The attacks of the Indians w<;re less 
horrible than attacks of hunger and disease which set in when the emigrant 
train reached a territory where the grass had been consume-d, or lost their 
cattle in the terrible snow storms r*f the .Sierras. 

The journey by sea was hardly safer and was far less glorious. ICvery ship 
for California was loaded down with emigrants packed together as clos<;ly as so 
much baggage. .Ships with a capacity for five hundred would crowd in fifteen 
hundred. The passage money was from %yy:> to $600. Often the ships were 
unseaworthy, often [tacked with coal in such a way that fires broke out. Against 
these dangers the passengers could not provide tlier7iselves and could not fight. 
The companies that were able to get their ships back again simjjly coined money, 
but it was no easy matter in those days to get a ship out of .San I'Vancisco 
harbor. The crews would instantly desert for the mines, and the wharves were 
lined with rotting vessels. 'ITie vessels which did make the return voyagf; were 
compelled to pay the California rate of wages. One shi[^ in which the com- 
mander, engaged at New York, received 1(^250 a month, had tf> pay on return 
$500 a month to the negro cook. 

San Francisco in these days was the strangest place in the world. In 
February, 1848, it had hardly more than fifty houses; in August it contiiined 
five hundred, and had a large population that was not housed, A pamphlet 
written in the fall of that year says : " I'Vom eight to ten thousand inhabitants 
may be afloat in the streets of San Francisco ; many live in shanties, many in 



tents, and many the best way they can." The best building in the town was the 
Parker House, an ordinary frame structure, a part of which was rented to 
gamblers for ^60,000 a year. Even a higher sum than this was said, by Bayard 
Taylor, to have been paid. The accommodation was fearful. The worst that 
can be said of bad hotels may here be imagined. The pasteboard houses, 
hastily put up, were rented at far more than the cost of their construction, for 
every one figured that the land was as valuable as if it had been solid gold. 
A correspondent of the New York Evening Post, in November, 1849, pictures in 
this way the land owners in San Francisco: "The people of San Francisco are 

mad, stark mad. A dozen times, in 
my work of the last four weeks, 
have I been taken by the arm by 
some of the millionaires — so they 
call themselves, I call them mad- 
men — of San Francisco, looking 
wondrously dirty and out-at-elbows 
for men of such magnificent pre- 
tensions. They have dragged me 
about through the mud and filth 
almost up to my middle, from one 
pine-box to another, called man- 
sions, hotels, banks, and stores, as it 
may please the imagination, and 
have told me, with a sincerity that 
would have done credit to a Bed- 
lamite, that these splendid struc- 
tures were theirs, and they, the 
fortunate proprietors, were worth 
from three to four hundred thou- 
sand dollars a year each. 
There must be nearly two thousand 
houses besides the tents, which are 
still spread in numbers. . . . And what do you suppose to be the value, 
the yearly rental, of this card-house city ? Not less, it is said, than twelve 
millions of dollars, and this with a population of about twelve thousand. New 
York, with its five hundred thousand inhabitants, does not give a rental of 
much more than this, if as much." 

The greater part of this city was five times destroyed by fire in the first 
three years of its existence, but the people, with a hopefulness and energy which 
nothing could put down or burn up, would set to work and rebuild it, almost as 
quickly as the flames had swept it away. Everybody worked. The poorest 



man received unheard-of wages, and the richest man was obhged to do most 
things for himself. 

When business of every sort was speculative to a degree so close akin to 
gambling, it is not strange that gambling itself took possession of the people 
and half frenzied them with its excitements. Physical insanity was a frequent 
result of the moral insanity of the community. There were few women in 
California, and most of these were of the worst sort. As a consequence, the 
men with no homes to go to in the evenings went into the gambling saloons, 
where they stayed till late at night. According to some descriptions, everybody 
gambled, but, as Royce points out in his admirable " History of California," the 
same men who talk half-boastfully of the recklessness and universality of the 
gambling, within the next breath speak with great fervor of the strength and 
genuineness of the religious life which soon showed itself in the community. 
There is no doubt that the forces for good as well as for evil were strong from 
the outset, and as the community grew older the forces for good kept growing 
stronger. More and more wives from the East had joined their husbands, and 
the young women who came from the East among the emigrants were married 
almost immediately on their arrival. Many a hotel keeper who engaged a 
servant girl at ;^200 a month, was disgusted to find that she married and left him 
before the month was over. With the introduction of family life came a return 
to saner moral conditions, and by 1853 the old distempered social order began 
to be spoken of as a thing of the past. 

The great discovery of silver took place about ten years after the discovery 
of gold. In 1857 Allen and Hosea Grosch, two educated and serious-minded 
young men, from Reading, Pennsylvania, came upon the rich vein of silver 
afterward famous as "The Great Bonanza." These discoverers were even 
less fortunate than those who found gold in California. Before they could get 
together the capital necessary for the development of this mine, one of them 
struck a pick into his foot and died from blood-poisoning, while the other was 
cauofht in a terrible snow storm, and died as the result of the freezine of his 
legs, which he would not have amputated. These young men left papers 
describing their discovery in their cabin, which was placed in the charge of 
Henry C. T. Comstock. The descriptions were not explicit enough to deter- 
mine the exact location, but Comstock remained in the canon keeping watch 
upon the prospectors. During this time, by his constant watchfulness for a 
great discovery, he obtained the title of "Old Pancake" among the miners, 
because, as Wright narrates in his "Great Bonanza," "Even as he stirred his 
pancake batter it is said he kept one eye on the head of some distant peak, and 
was lost in speculation in regard to the wealth of gold and silver that might 
rest somewhere beneath its rocky crest." At last on the loth of June, 1859, 

two prospectors named McLaughlin and O'Riley came upon a stratum of 




strange-looking earth, the nature of which they did not understand. Comstock, 
who was immediately on the spot, exclaimed, "You've struck it, boys!" An 
arrangement was at once made to buy off the owners of the claims on which 
the vein was located. Three of the four owners were bought off for fifty dollars 


apiece ; the fourth sold at some higher figure to another miner named Winters, 
who obtained some inkling of the value of the claim. 

A firm was formed, consisting of Comstock, McLaughlin, O' Riley, Winters, 
and a man named Penrod, who had been one of Comstock's two partners in 


the ownership of a spring necessary to the working of a mine. A third owner 
of this spring, called "Old Virginia," for whom Virginia City was named, 
was persuaded to sell his interest for an old blind horse. The new firm began 
the mining of silver on what came to be called the " Comstock lode." Very 
soon, however, they sold out to men of larger capital, who in turn sold to 
Mackay and Fair, famous the world over among America's millionaires. The 
subsequent fortunes of the firm which Comstock formed are interesting to 
follow, as they again illustrate the fate which came upon most of the men who 
brought to light the hidden mineral treasures of the Western territory. Com- 
stock sold his interest for $1 1,000, became a merchant in Carson City, married 
the deserting wife of a Mormon, was soon in his turn deserted by her, failed in 
his business adventure, and ended his life by suicide. McLaughlin sold his 
interest at $3500, soon spent what he received, and afterward became a cook 
in a mine in California. Penrod and Winters were also soon poor men, while 
O'Riley, the last to sell, engaged in stock gambling with the ^40,000 he received, 
was soon forced to resort to pick and pan for a living, and ended his life in a 
private asylum. The great fortunes, as has been said, were made by the later 
comers. Those who bought the mine from the original firm lost most that they 
made in litigation. Senator Stewart used to receive annually as much as 
$200,000 in fees as the principal attorney of some of the Comstock companies. 
He estimated the cost of litigation up to Januar)', 1866, at $10,000,000. When 
the Comstock mines finally came into the hands of Fair, Mackay, and O'Brien, 
scientific methods were introduced, and the stock of the " Consolidated Virginia " 
rapidly rose from $85 a share in January, 1874, to $700 a share in January, 1875. 
The shares in another mine in the same lode rose to a like figure, and the two 
together had a market value of $160,000,000. During five years these mines 
produced over $100,000,000 worth of silver. After 1878 their product fell 
gradually, and the price of the stock went down. Bancroft, in his " History of 
Nevada," says that down to January i, 1881, $306,000,000 worth of silver 
bullion was extracted from the Comstock lode. Yet he doubts whether that 
mountain of silver has proven a permanent advantage to Nevada. The wealth 
which came from her mines, he says, was to a large degree squandered by 
gamblers in New York and Paris, and used for purposes of political bribery and 
social corruption in Virginia City and San Francisco. The wealth that exists in 
Nevada to-day has come from improvements made by the people who came and 
developed the farms, made the roads, established the systems of irrigation, and 
built the stores, the factories, and the homes. 

With the introduction of scientific mining, requiring mills and machinery 
costing vast sums of money, the wage system took the place of the free and 
independent mining of the earlier days. It is true that the mine laborers still 
remained their own masters, by organizing as workmen were never organized 



before, and compelling mine owners, for years, to pay four dollars a day as the 
minimum day's wages. But the mining life which came in with the wage system 
is the orderly life of to-day, not essentially different from that of Eastern com- 
munities. The life in the mining camps, to which all romances go back, was the 
life that prevailed when every laborer was his own capitalist, and every capitalist 
his own laborer. Never were so many men from so many places suddenly 


thrown together, as in California in '48 and '49. What came afterward in 
Nevada, and later still- in Colorado, was like it in kind but not in degree. The 
Californians of the early days were without law, and thousands of miles away 
from established tribunals. Every man was a law unto himself, except when 
the community, as a whole, became aroused, and constituted itself a tribunal. 
The Territory was indeed nominally organized, but to wait for the regular 
process of law was to grant immunity to crime. The character of " miners* 


justice " may be illustrated by some of the scenes at Sonora, where gold 
was first discovered. Here there had been law and order previous to 
the miners' invasion, but with the invasion demoralization set in. In 
the fall of '48 the newcomers, following the Mexican fashion, elected two 
Alcaldes, but when one of the storekeepers at the settlement killed a man in a 
fight, both the officers promptly resigned rather than run the risk of arresting 
the homicide. Another storekeeper, however, called the people together to take 
action. This storekeeper was promptly elected Alcalde, and it was decided that 
one Alcalde was enough. A Prosecuting Attorney was likewise required, but no 
one was ready to take the office, and each person nominated promptly declined 
and nominated some one else. Finally the energetic storekeeper was obliged to 
accept this office also. The meeting succeeded in finding a second man to take 
the office of Sheriff. The offender was arrested, a jury impaneled, and the trial 
begun. The prisoner, on being brought in court, was requested to lay his arms 
on the table, and did so. On this table stood a plentiful supply of brandy and 
water, to which everybody in the court-room helped himself at pleasure. The 
trial, however, proceeded with much attempt at legal form, and presently the 
Judge arose and began a plea for the prosecution. " Hold on, Brannan," said 
the prisoner, "you are the Judge." "I know it," replied that official, "and I am 
Prosecuting Attorney, too." He went on with his speech, and ended it by an 
appeal to himself as Judge In connection with the jury. When he had finished, 
the prisoner, after helping himself to a glass of brandy, made an able speech 
in his own defense. Night came on and the jury scattered without bringing in a 
verdict. The prisoner was admitted to bail, because there was no prison to 
put him in. The next day the jury met, but disagreed about the verdict. A 
new trial was held and the prisoner acquitted. 

In most of the mining camps the administration of justice fell into the hands 
of the Vigilance Committees. A great many wild stories have been written about 
the trials they held, and story writers have been fond of depicting scenes where 
a higher form of justice was carried out than the conventional trials in older 
communities permit. There were, indeed, occasions when sudden and powerful 
appeals to the emotions of the Committee produced sudden and good effects, 
but as a rule the hearts of the Committee were no more open than their reasons. 
That they had assembled at all usually meant that there had been an accumula- 
tion of wrongs unpunished, and the gathered indignation of the community vented 
itself upon the single individual who happened to be brought to trial. Miners' 
justice was indeed far better than lynch law. As Shinn has pointed out in his 
book on " Mining Camps ": " Lynch law is carried out at night by a transient mob, 
which keeps no records, conceals the names of its ministers, and is in its essence 
disorderly. Miners' justice, on the other hand, was executed in broad daylight, 
by men well known, who gave the prisoner a hearing, and kept a careful record 



of their doings." Yet, in spite of this, the assembling of the Committee was so 
irregular, its constituency so doubtful, its verdicts either so ferocious or so 
inadequate, or both — as when the favorite penalty of flogging and banishment 
was imposed — that the establishment of regular tribunals was in every respect 
an important gain to the mining communities. This change took place about 
the time that scientific mining was introduced, with regular pay for regular work. 
Before that time California, both as regards the rewards of labor and the punish- 
ment of crime, had seemed a world ruled by chance. 



The Problem of Our National Currency. 


Ex-Secretary of the Treasury. 

Its History and Evolution. 


First Assistant Secretary of Treasury under Sherman^ Windom^ and Folger. 

Money, as used to effect the exchange of commodities, is the greatest 
labor-saving machine ever invented by man. Without money wealth might 
exist, but it would bring to the possessor but few comforts. This commercial 

contrivance is, however, of no recent 
origin, for we read that in the days of the 
Patriarchs Abraham used money to pay 
for the cave of Machpelah, in which to 
bury his dead. The story of that trans- 


action is a siornificant one, showine at 

what an early date mankind adopted the 
use of money. Abraham was at the head 
of a nomadic tribe encamped among the 
simple people of Hebron, who looked 
upon him as a mighty prince. Upon the 
death of his wife he naturally desired to 
give her a sepulture worthy of his rank 
and position. Word was therefore sent 
out that he wished to purchase a lot of 
ground for such a purpose, preferring the 
cave of Machpelah, for which he would 
pay a proper amount of money. Ephron, 
the owner of the cave, declared that it was worth four hundred shekels of silver, 
and Abraham therefore weighed them out to him, as "current money among 
the merchants," and in return received his tide to the cave, the boundaries and 
transfer duly witnessed. 




In this transaction are found in effect all the form and methods employed 
for a like transaction to-day, except that the weighing of the money at the time 
of the transfer is obviated by the metal having been previously converted into 
disks of known and uniform weight. 

But for the general use of money to effect such changes of property 
Ephron could hardly have found terms in which to express the value of his 
cave, and Abraham could hardly have paid for it, unless Ephron would have 
accepted therefor a portion of his flocks, which, though valuable to Abraham, 
might not have been needed by Ephron, and he might have found trouble in 
exchanging them for what he did need, as only for "current money" would the 
merchants surely part with their goods. 

That silver, out of all the products of the earth and sea, had already been 
selected for use as money, is especially creditable to the commercial acuteness 
of these ancient people. A search of three thousand years since made has 
found no better commodity for that purpose. In recent years it has been 
supplemented by the use of gold, a metal possessing for money most of the 
qualities of silver, and its higher value in relation to its weight renders it more 
serviceable, perhaps, in transactions involving large amounts. Upon one or 
the other of these metals the commercial exchanges of the world have been 
effected for centuries, and in the terms of their weight all values of property 
have come to be expressed. When we say an article is worth so many dollars, 
pounds, or francs, we only mean that it can be exchanged for so many pieces 
of gold or silver, the weight of the pieces being known, fixed, and uniform. 

The experiment of using other commodities for money has, however, often 
been tried. At different times and in various places, hand-made nails, the 
shells of clams, tail feathers of birds, skins of animals, cattle, corn and tobacco, 
and nearly all the products of the field and the chase have been used as money, 
but their tendency to decay or their inability to withstand the attrition of 
circulation have soon rendered them worthless, though in some cases they 
served well the exigencies which brousfht them into such use. 

Promises to pay certain specified amounts of money on demand have also 
been issued in recent years for money, both by the State and by private 
corporations, and though only of paper, have served a valuable auxiliary as 
long as the promises were promptly redeemed in money. The ancients had 
none of this so-called paper money, perhaps because they had no paper, but 
they closely approximated the use of representative money when they cut out 
from the skin of an animal an irregularly outlined piece and paid it out at the 
value of the skin itself with the understanding that the holder could at any 
time obtain the skin therefor, provided that upon presentation for that purpose 
the piece was found to fit the hole from which it was taken. 

The use of checks in business, the offsetting of credits against each other 


through the agency of banks and clearing-houses in the centres of trade, have, 
to a certain extent, reheved money from a portion of its duties ; but financial 
transactions of every kind are based upon a money standard, and resulting 
balances paid only by money itself 

The natural functions of money, of whatever character it consists, are, 
therefore, to aid in the transfer of property from one party to another, and to 
furnish a common standard in which all values may be expressed. 

The State, however, not content with using money for the simple purposes 
mentioned, has brought it into politics and clothed it with a new function by 
which it can satisfy a contract with less than the amount called for, or with a 
new kind of money not contemplated in the contract. This extraordinary 
endowment is known as the legal tender quality, and it is only effective when 
backed by the power of the State. Under this illogical and unnatural acquisi- 
tion forced upon it by law, money springs into prominence as a political factor, 
and begins to have a history, or rather to create one. 

From this new legal-tender function three projects have sprung by which 
money, heretofore an impartial factor in the transfer of property, becomes 
an aggressive agent by which the most sacred rights of a man to his own 
accumulations have been destroyed. 

These projects may be classified as follows : — 

1st. To retain the name of the coin, but to take from it a portion of its 
value, the reduced piece to be equally available in payment of a debt, known 
as debasing the coinage. 

2d. To issue paper promises-to-pay, of certain amounts, the issue to be 
a full satisfaction for all debts to the amount of its face, known as inflation. 

3d. To substitute, at a rate fixed by law, one metal for another, and to 
give the creditor the option of paying his debts in either, known as bi-metalism. 

A monetary history of any country is mainly but a recount of the 
operations of money as a legal tender, for money left to natural laws has no 
history, no more than has the ceaseless flow of a river or the rise and fall of 
the tide. 

In the days of Abraham, with no legal-tender quality, money did its work 
silently and faithfully, unrestricted by legislation, and we know of its existence 
only incidentally. To the laws of this country that have intervened to check 
and misdirect its operations is due the history which this article will relate. 

Debasing the Coinage. — The early settlers of this country, coming from 
England, were accustomed to reckon values in pounds, shillings, and pence, and 
to use the shillings of that country as current money. These pieces have a 
history worthy to be related : William I, the Norman King, placed in the Tower 
a bar of silver ^ fine, containing y^ of an ounce troy more than the troy 
pound of 5760 grains, and declared it to be the standard, both of weights and 


values, for his newly acquired realm. As a standard of value, this Tower 
pound was divided into 240 parts, each part to be known as a penny, and for 
many years only pennies were coined ; but as trade increased, out of the pound 
were coined twenty pieces known as shillings, each necessarily containing twelve 
pence. As a standard of weight, the same pound was also divided into 240 
parts, each part to be known as a pennyweight, being of the same weight as a 
penny ; but for some reason the relation of weight and value was then aban- 
doned, and the pound was divided into twelve parts, to be known as ounces, " 
each part, of course, containing twenty pennyweights. 

This ingenious and admirable combination of the two standards was not 
permitted to continue long, for Edward 111, finding his crown debts pressing, 
directed that twenty-two shillings be coined from a pound instead of twenty, and 
by making the new pieces a legal tender for the same purposes as those pre- 
viously issued he cheated his creditors out of two shillings on every pound of 
debt, as the new pieces had no value in the market except what their weight for 
bullion gave them. 

The successors of this monarch repeatedly worked this silent and sleek 
scheme for replenishing their depleted coffers at the expense of their debtors, 
until Queen Elizabeth by royal proclamation declared that out of the troy pound, 
which Henry VIII had substituted for the Tower pound, there should be coined 
sixty-two of these pieces. By this time the shilling contained only about one- 
third of its original amount of silver, and even the dunderheaded Englishmen 
began to see there was cheating somewhere around the board, and that royalty 
alone was winning the stakes. So a great clamor was raised, and since then no 
debasement of the full legal-tender coins has taken place in Merrie England. 

The colonists, who brought these pieces with them to this country, were 
doubtless familiar with this process of debasing coins and the gain that would 
come therefrom to the State, for as early as 1652 the Massachusetts Colony set 
up a mint and commenced the coinage of shilling pieces avowedly containing 
but ten pence worth of silver. The mint master, however, took fifteen pence 
out of every twenty shillings coined, and then the English Mint declared the 
silver in the coins was not of an even weight or fineness, and so the pieces circu- 
lated at twenty-five per cent, discount, though, being a legal tender at their face 
value, they were worth par in payment of debt. These shillings, however, 
became the standard by which values were reckoned from that time on, though 
but few were coined, and those were hoarded or shipped abroad, notwithstanding 
such shipment was forbidden by severe penalties, for there existed in the colonies 
a cheaper way of paying debts than that afforded even by debased coins. Clam 
shells, cattle, corn, and beaver had been made legal tender, and the principle 
laid down by Sir Thomas Gresham, of Queen Elizabeth's time, that no two 
<:urrencies of unequal value would circulate together — the poorer driving out 



the better — was the secret of the deportation of the coin. To protect the 
Treasury against the operations of this law, in 1658 it was ordered that taxes 
should not be paid in " lank cattle." Of clam shells, also, it was found that only 
the broken and lustreless ones remained in circulation — the poorer currency 
driving out the better, whether of cattle or of clam shells. At this opportune 
moment the Spanish pillar silver dollar, brought to this country mainly by 
buccaneers, began to circulate throughout the colonies, with its " pieces of eight," 
or reals. This dollar was a stranger in a strange land, and had nothing to 
recommend it to favor except that it bore the device of a nation whose 
commercial integrity had never been questioned. But the colonists reckoned 

_____ •JK^li-v-tsJtY-JV^ — -'-rj-f^' 


in shillings and pence, and the relation in value between the strange piece and 
a shilling must necessarily be fixed in some way. The English Mint declared 
the piece contained four shillings and six pence of sterling silver, and this became 
the established rate in South Carolina, but the Massachusetts Colony declared 
it contained six shillings, and of the shillings of that colony this was about right. 
Virginia adopted the same rating. New York declared that the piece contained 
eight shillings, though that colony never had a shilling piece of any kind, and 
nowhere in the world was there one of that value. Pennsylvania, for no reason 
stated, said it contained seven shillings and six pence, while Maryland adopted the 
rating of New York. Thus in New England and Virginia the real became a 
"nine pence," in New York and Maryland a shilling, and in Pennsylvania it 


was called eleven pence, or "levy;" and by these names it was known for nearly 
two centuries. The dollar having taken the place of the pound in reckonings, 
to a certain extent, it was subdivided into shillings and pence for purposes of 
accounts, those being the lower denominations in use, and accordingly in Virginia 
and New England accounts were kept frequently in dollars and 72ds ; in New 
York and Maryland in dollars and 96ths ; in Pennsylvania in dollars and goths, 
as seen in the Treasury books of the Confederation, while in South Carolina 
they were kept in dollars and 54ths, for in every case a shilling still contained 
twelve pence, and these fractional divisions of the dollar represented the number 
of pence the several colonies alleged this piece contained. 

The accounts of Washington as he traveled from Mount Vernon to Boston, 
filed in the Treasury, show the changes rendered necessary in the reckonings as 
he passed through the several States, sometimes the local pound, sometimes the 
dollar, being the unit, but in the end the distinguished traveler reduced the cur- 
rencies to one standard and determined how much was due him in Spanish 
dollars and reals, a feat in computation for which the Father of his Country has 
never received due credit. 

Of course, these diverse valuations of the shilling gave to the pounds cor- 
responding variations in values, and as trade was mainly with the mother coun- 
try, exchanges were conducted with endless confusions in the reckonings. Had 
the colonists kept the pound sterling for their unit, used the English shillings 
and pence for their coins, as they were accustomed, all these complications 
would have been avoided. But contracts were out calling for shillings, and the 
finding of more shillings in a dollar by law than existed in fact defrauded the cred- 
itor to that extent of his just dues, the result if not the purpose of the legal- 
tender quality given these coins, whose existence even was to a certain extent 
fictitious. The use of silver as a circulating medium was, however, soon aban- 
doned for paper issues. 

Paper Money. — The Massachusetts Colony was the first to issue paper 
money. In 1690, to satisfy the claims of her soldiers who had been on an expe- 
dition to Canada and came back without booty, 7000 pounds were issued, but 
being made receivable in payment of taxes, did not suffer great depreciation, 
though according to Sumner the soldiers disposed of it at t,2i per cent, discount. 
Other limited issues followed in anticipation of taxes, but in 1 709, to pay for 
another expedition against Canada, 50,000 pounds were issued. Other colonies 
joined in the expedition and all issued paper to pay expenses. The issues were 
made a legal tender and the acceptance of the notes enforced from time to time 
by stringent enactments. Notwithstanding this, they continued to depreciate. 
Industries at first stimulated lagged, and a great demand arising for additional 
issues to make business brisk, the colonial governments or their chartered banks 
issued bills upon almost any pretext, — as in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, 


upon real estate mortgages, family silver, and other securities. In the latter 
State interest was made payable in flax and hemp, to encourage those industries, 
but very few of its loans were ever paid, and the titles to lands fell into inextric- 
able confusion. New loans were issued by the colonies with which to pay off 
the old ones, until the issues of the Massachusetts Colony were depreciated to 
II for I, at which rate the notes were redeemed. The notes of other colonies 
were also retired upon various scales until 1751, when Parliament prohibited, in 
most of the colonies, the further issue of legal-tender notes. The depreciated 
bills out of the way, silver returned, and even some gold appeared in circulation, 
also brought in by buccaneers. 

Bi-Mctalism. — The colonists tried a great many commodities for a standard 
of value, but only twice did they undertake to have two standards in circulation 
at once, their values to be kept equal by the force of law. 

Exploring parties of the Massachusetts Colony found on the shores of 
Long Island a partially civilized community of Indians. Some of them living 
along the shores were engaged in polishing the shell of the clam and of the 
periwinkle, which they traded off for ornaments at a pretty well established rate. 
The shells were called Peag, and they served every purpose of money among 
the simple natives. One black shell was about equal to two white ones, but in 
the absence of any law fixing a parity of value both shells circulated, each for 
what it was worth, the white at about six, the black about three for a penny. 
The colonists, however, made Peag a legal tender for twelve pence, and im- 
mediately their deterioration commenced — lusterless and half polished shells 
being as good as any in payment of debt. Again the law came to its rescue, 
and, in 1648, provided that only such Peag as was unbroken and of good color 
should pass as money. A little later it provided that Peag should be a legal 
tender for forty shillings, the white at eight, the black at six for a penny. Peag 
was now not only a legal tender in payment of debt in a modest way, but a 
fixed relation was established between the value of the white and the black 
shells. The law did all it could to extend the circulation of these shells, but 
Peag was perverse, and, just as great results were expected from it, it wholly 
disappeared from circulation, having become so utterly worthless nobody would 
accept it, doubtless somewhat to the surprise of the " Bi-Shellists," whose faith 
in the efficacy of a double standard seemed unbounded. 

The next colonial experiment of the kind was in 1762. The gold which 
followed in the channels of the depreciated paper, as above mentioned, circu- 
lated at its own value and was very useful, but it soon attracted the attention 
of the General Court of Massachusetts, and with the declared purpose to 
facilitate trade, this court, in that year, made gold a legal tender at two and a 
half pence silver per grain. At this rating gold was the cheaper metal for 
paying debts, and, in conformity with the Gresham law, silver promptly dis- 


appeared from circulation, leaving gold to circulate alone. The colonists were 
surprised at the result and were at a loss to know what caused it, but silver 
would not return to associate with gold on the terms fixed by law, and the 
colonists had to get along as best they could for a few years, when the necessi- 
ties of war brought about other forms of currency. 

In September, 1774, the first Congress of the colonies assembled in 
Philadelphia with a view to obtain a redress of grievances, not a separation 
from the mother country. It was composed of delegates from every colony, 
and had no clearly defined powers. The conflict at Lexington, in April, 1775, 
while this Congress was holding its second session, dispelled all hopes of a 
pacific settlement of the difficulties, and preparations for war were promptly 
begun. To meet expenses money was necessary, but this body had no power 
to levy a tax. The members, however, were accustomed to the issue of bills as 
a substitute for money, and to such issue they naturally turned. On the loth 
of May, 1775, an act was passed authorizing the issue of $3,000,000 on the 
faith of the "Continent," by which the bills became known as Continental 
money. They were in form as follows : — 


No Dollars. 

This bill entitles the bearer to receive Spanish 

milled dollars, or the value thereof in gold or silver, according to the 
resolutions of the Congress held at Philadelphia, on the loth day of 
May, A. D. 1775. 

Nothing appears on the face of the bill as to its redemption, but the law 
imposed upon the several colonies the duty to redeem the issue within three 
years, at a stated amount for each, based upon its population. This was 
probably as far as this Congress had power to go, but the several colonies, 
instead of levying a ta.x to meet the redemption of the notes, set up their own 
printing presses and entered into competition with each other and Congress in 
the issue of additional notes of their own. Within a year Congress, having 
issued $9,000,000 of its notes, and their value depreciating, took prompt and 
harsh measures to force their circulation and maintain their value, imposing 
severe penalties upon any one refusing to accept them at par in exchange for 
commodities. In 1777 the colonies, at the urgent request of Congress, stopped 
their issues, but not until they had put into circulation about $210,000,000. 
The exact amount was never known, the issue having been so hurried that no 
count of it was made. How far they ever went in contracting or redeeming 
their issues it is impossible to discover. Of the Continental issues the limit of 
$200,000,000 was reached in 1779, of which $65,500,000 were issued the year 



previous. This was the good-sized straw which broke the back of the patient 
camel. The next year the notes were worth only two cents on the dollar, 

practically disappearing from 
circulation. In Philadelphia 
they were then used for wall 
paper, and a dog covered with 
tar, stuck full of the bills, was 
chased through the streets amid 
the jeers of the crowd. The 
utter lack of value in these 
notes gave rise to the expression, 
" Not worth a Continental." 


For the ruinous policy pursued, the 
local colonial governments alone were re- 
sponsible. To meet the expenses of the war they would neither levy a 
tax themselves nor authorize their Congress to do so. That in the end the 
bills were repudiated does not signify that the war to that extent cost the 


colonies nothing. The amount of the depreciation was only a form ot a tax 
paid by every one in proportion to the amount of money he held and the 
time he held it, thus imposing upon the officers and soldiers who fought the 
battles, and upon their families, the patriotic and the helpless, the main cost of 
the war, leaving to the Tories, and those who stayed at home, comparative 
exemption from its burdens. But the forced issue of such legal-tender bills 
worked more than pecuniary hardship. Says a prominent writer of the period : 
" We have suffered more from this cause (paper money) than from any other 
cause or calamity. It has killed more men, pervaded and corrupted the choicest 
interests of our country more, and done more injustice than even the arms and 
artifices of our enemy." 

This paper being out of the way, specie flowed in to take its place, and 
there was soon no stringency in the circulation. But the itching for paper 
money was not cured, and in 1781 the Bank of North America was chartered in 
Philadelphia, with authority to issue notes with which to purchase rations for the 
army. The notes were redeemable at sight in the Spanish dollars, and though 
their redemption was maintained, the people were cautious and slow in taking 
them. In Rhode Island 100,000 pounds legal tenders were issued on land 
mortgages. The notes immediately depreciated, endless litigation ensued, and 
in October, 1789, the depreciation was fixed by law at eighteen for one, but at 
that rate the debtors were allowed to pay in produce. 

This ended paper money schemes under the Confederation. Initiatory 
steps were meanwhile taken toward the establishment of a Mint, that the country 
might have a distinctive coinage of its own. In 1785 Congress adopted the 
Spanish dollar as the unit of value, a function it was then performing in many 
cases by common consent, and the following year declared that it contained of 
pure silver 375.64 grains. The decimal system was also required in accounts. 
At the same time the coinage of a ten dollar gold piece, containing 246.268 
grains, was authorized — making in law one of weight in gold equal in value to 
15.253 of silver, while in the market the ratio was one to 14.89. Why silver 
should thus have been undervalued when its use was so generally popular and 
universal does not appear, but the adoption of the Constitution prevented 
further steps from being taken under this law. 

Bi-Metalism. — The new Constitution was adopted March 4, 1789. One of 
its provisions gave Congress the power to coin money and regulate its value. 
Alexander Hamilton was called to the Treasury, and to him Congress referred 
the subject for investigation and report. In response he urged that both silver 
and gold be coined for depositors in unlimited amounts, one pound in weight in 
gold to be equal to fifteen pounds in silver for coins. He urged a dollar for the 
unit to contain either ^71% grains of pure silver or 24^ grains of pure gold, 
the introduction of the decimal system in accounts, and the coinage of halves, 


quarters, and dimes in silver of proportionate weight. Hamilton believed, or at 
least hoped, that with the relation established both metals would circulate 
together, though he admitted that if the relation should not prove to be the 
market one, only the cheaper metal would remain in circulation. 

Jefferson believed the ratio of one to fifteen to be the proper one, and urged 
its adoption. The recommendations of Hamilton were soon incorporated into a 
law, a Mint was established, and coins struck as contemplated. In the market one 
of gold proved worth nearer 151^ of silver, and, following Gresham's law, only 
silver coins remained in circulation. Gold coins were hoarded or shipped abroad. 

But the new silver dollars soon met with competition. The clipped and 
worn Spanish pieces, having been made a legal tender, entered into circulation 
and in turn drove out the new silver coins, so that all the output of the Mint was 
mainly for exportation. To prevent the shipment of silver the Mint gave 
preference to coining fractional pieces, thus exhausting its capacity upon as little 
silver in value as possible. 

In 1805 only 321 dollar pieces were coined, and on May i, 1806, President 
Jefferson, through James Madison, Secretary of State, sent an order to Robert 
Patterson, Director of the Mint, "That all the silver to be coined at the Mint 
shall be of small denomination, so that the value of the largest pieces shall not 
exceed one-half dollar." The coinage thus entirely suspended was not resumed 
for thirty years. 

As a result the country had only bank issues and the light-weight foreign 
coins, and could not understand why it had to put up with such a poor currency. 
The Mints were open for the coinage of gold and for the fractional silver, and a 
large number of pieces were being struck, but none of them found their way 
into circulation. 

The Democratic party, headed by Mr. Benton, then a Senator from 
Missouri, determined to increase the ratio between the two metals with the hope 
of retaining gold. So an act was passed in 1834 reducing the weight of the 
gold coins about seven percent. The gold dollar now contained 23.22 grains, 
making the ratio between the two metals about one to sixteen. It now 
turned out that silver was the undervalued metal, and even had there been no 
cheaper foreign coins in existence, it would have fled the country, leaving the 
gold alone for circulation. But the light-weight foreign coins and depreciated 
bank-bills circulated freely, and little was seen of either silver or gold coins of 
this country. 

The Real pieces became so worn that in every transaction a dispute arose 

as to whether the pillars could be seen, until somebody scratched an X on the 

piece, when it passed as a dime, and was over-valued at that. To correct 

this evil, in 1853 Congress directed a reduction in the weight of the fractional 

silver pieces, forbade the Mint to coin them for depositors, and directed their 


coinage to be made only on Government account, and to be issued ^t their face 
value only in exchange for gold coins or silver dollars. In 1857 the Spanish 
and Mexican dollars and the Real pieces were authorized to be redeemed at 
the Mint at a little above their bullion value, — they no longer to be legal tender 
These latter pieces immediately disappeared, and the bright, new dimes, 
quarters, and halves, fresh from the Mint, took their places. 

The bank issues being now well under control, gold coin also began to 
circulate. Gold pieces for larger transactions, silver pieces for smaller ones, 
made a very satisfactory currency. The Government received and paid out 
no other money on public account until 1862, when coin was again largely 
forced out of circulation by the legal-tender greenbacks. The opening up 
of new silver mines in the West, however, brought considerable silver to 
the Mints for coinage into dollars, but not for circulation, — the bullion in a 
dollar being worth about $1.05, — but for exportation at its bullion value. 

About this time a revision of the mint laws was made by officials of the 
Treasury Department, and a bill prepared at the Treasury, after several years 
of delay, passed Congress and received the approval of the President, 
February 12, 1873. To aid the producers of silver bullion in finding a market 
for their product, authority was given to the mint for the manufacture of silver 
disks or bars, to bear the stamp of the government as a guaranty of their 
weight and fineness, the depositor to pay the expense of their manufacture ; 
and the coinacre of the former silver dollars was no longfer authorized. Under 
this authority coins were manufactured, known as trade dollars, each one 
seven and one-half grains greater in weight than the other silver dollars. The 
scheme proved a success, and a large number were manufactured and sent 
abroad. In China they were used as a circulating medium, creating a special 
market in which there was little or no competition. 

Germany, however, having determined to adopt the gold standard, redeemed 
its enormous issues of silver pieces, melted them down, and thus brought into 
the market, at once, over 7,000,000 pounds of silver. Large discoveries of the 
metal were also made in Nevada, and silver became greatly depreciated in the 
markets of the world. Had not the coinage of the silver dollars been prohibited 
by the Act of 1873, the silver dollar would again, under the Gresham law, have 
taken its place as the unit in our currency, driving gold from circulation, and, 
regardless of its depreciation, would have been a legal tender for even pre- 
existing contracts. 

An outcry therefore arose, that in the prohibition of the silver dollar the 
debtor class had been greatly wronged, although very few of that class, or of 
any other, had ever seen or expected to see a silver dollar in circulation. 

Upon the assembling of Congress in 1877, a determined effort was made 
to restore the silver dollar to free circulation, and a bill to that effect, known as 


the Bland bill, passed the House, but was so changed in the Senate that the 
Treasury was authorized to purchase not less than ^2,000,000 nor more than 
^4,000,000 worth of silver bullion monthly, at the best rate obtainable, and to 
coin it into dollars for which certificates might be issued, the dollars to remain 
in the Treasury untouched to meet their redemption upon presentation ; and 
thus amended the bill became a law, February 28, 1878. The provisions of this 
act, however, did not prove satisfactory, and in 1890 another concession was 
made to the advocates of the unlimited coinage of the silver dollar by authoriz- 
ing the Government to purchase, at the best rates obtainable, 4,500,000 ounces 
of silver every month and to issue silver certificates thereon for the amount of 
the purchase, the metal to be coined into silver dollars only as needed for the 
redemption of the certificates issued. 

Under these two acts there have been issued about $400,000,000 of 
silver dollars, of which about $60,000,000 are in circulation, the remainder are 
in the Treasury, held to meet the certificates which have been issued thereon, 
and purchases of bullion are being made every month as required. The 
price of silver bullion has, however, constantly depreciated until the metal 
in a silver dollar can be purchased in the market for 70 cents in gold, and 
the prospect of a parity of value between the two metals, at the present ratio 
of I to 16, seems as far off as ever. 

The enforced purchase of such an enormous amount of silver every 
month, and the issue of certificates thereon for circulation, must cease some 
day. The amount of money needed for circulation must be left to the 
necessity of business, not to an act of Congress. Until that time monetary 
questions, in one form or another, will continue to ve.x the halls of legislation 
and to needlessly disturb the prosperity of the country. 

Paper Money. — The Constitution of 1 789 provided that no State should 
emit bills of credit, make anything legal tender but gold and silver, or 
change the terms of a pre-existing contract. Consequently, the power to 
issue paper money, if existing anywhere in the country, was lodged in the 
general government. 

As a result, in 1790, Hamilton recommended to Congress the establish- 
ment of a National Bank, with authority to issue $10,000,000 of bills legally 
receivable in payment of public dues, and an act for that purpose was 
promptly approved, but not without grave doubts of the power of the govern- 
ment to grant such a charter. The bank, gaining public confidence, its notes 
circulated at par and were accepted as readily in private transactions as 
though made a legal tender for that purpose. 

The States, stripped of their power to emit bills directly, also resorted 
to issues of banks organized under their charters. These bills were alwavs 
redeemable at sight by the bank issuing them. Not being a legal tender, 


the notes had only a commercial value, but a bank in good standing was 
enabled to keep more or less of them in circulation in its immediate vicinity, 
and usually maintaining but small reserve, reaped much profit from this use 
of its credit. Away from their home, however, the bills were subjected to 
varying rates of discount, sometimes as high as fifty per cent., and specula- 
tion in them kept business feverish and unsettled. 

The temptation to profit by such issues led to endless schemes to 
impose upon the public worthless bills, and these issues became known, in 
time, as wild-cat currency. In 1809 a crash came, and none too soon, for 
even in New England, where such issues were best guarded, one bank had 
out more than ^500,000 in bills with only $84 in specie to meet their 
redemption, and others were about as weak. Great loss ensued from the 
panic, and more rigorous restrictive legislation for future issues was enacted, 
at least in that section. 

The issues of the National Bank were kept at par, but its charter expiring 
in 181 1, the bank was unable to obtain a renewal; the influence of the bank 
in restricting the depreciated issues of the state banks had been too salutary to 
suit the demands of those who wanted money plenty, regardless of its value. 
The National Bank out of the way, the mania for bank issues began to develop 
in the Middle and Western States. In 18 14 all the banks outside of New 
England suspended paying specie for bills. No excuse for the suspension is 
apparent, except the war then going on with England. With the return of 
peace, however, came additional issues of bank paper, and for a while apparent 
prosperity prevailed. 

The unequal value of the notes in different sections of the country some- 
what embarrassed exchanges, but it was thought that in time, when the people were 
accustomed to such conditions, the difficulties would vanish. In 1814 Pennsyl- 
vania chartered 41 banks, and in the year following, Kentucky 40 more, their 
capital aggregating $27,000,000 with little or no restriction as to the issue of 
notes. This period was considered by many as the golden age of the West, 
but most of the banks failed within a year or two, and their enormous issues 
'became worthless. In 1818 twenty thousand persons in Philadelphia were 
begging employment. Business was. at a stand-still and property was unsalable 
at any price. The National Bank, which had obtained a renewal of its charter 
in 1 816, for twenty years, suspended specie payments with other banks. 

The depreciated issues drove all the coin from the West into New England, 
which, having a comparatively stable standard and circulation, soon absorbed 
pretty much all the trade of the country, for even clipped and light-weight 
foreign coins, were infinitely preferable to such bank issues. But the demand 
for. bank issues was renewed throughout the country, and again there could be 
but' one result. In 1837 another crash came. Even the New York and 



Massachusetts country banks, comparatively conservative, were issuing notes at 

the rate of twenty-five to 
After this explosion came 
of President Jackson, by 
ury thereafter received 
of public dues Fortu- 
have been for the welfare 
public Treasury and every 
from the outset treated 
issues in the same way, 
upon specie alone for 
circulation of which 
there was at all 
times enough for 

one of specie reserve. 

the famous specie order 

which the public Treas- 

only specie in payment 

nate indeed would it 

of the country if the 

individual had 

all the bank 

X^- MV!\ ^"'^ depended 

the purpose or the deficiency 
could have been promptly sup- 
A RAID ON A BANK. pli^d by the Mint, which was 

coining silver for exportation. 
Bank notes, generally at par, continued to furnish the circulation of the 
country, however, till the outbreak of the Rebellion, with only a brief disturbance 


in 1857, but it must be remembered they were at par only in the vicinity of 
their issue. 

In 1 86 1 Congress met in special session to find the Capitol a military camp. 
An army had been called to the field to suppress the uprising of the South, 
threatening the very existence of the Government. To meet pressing needs the 
Treasury was authorized to issue ^60,000,000 of notes payable on demand and 
receivable for public dues. They circulated at par but were looked upon with 
suspicion. However, they tided over the financial difficulties of the summer, 
but upon the assembling of Congress in regular session, in the December 
following, it was evident that measures more efficient must be taken to meet the 
rapidly increasing expenses of the Government. A bill was, therefore, pre- 
sented in the House authorizing the issue of % 1 50,000,000 of notes for circulation, 
to be a legal tender in payment of all debts, public and private, except for 
customs dues and interest on public debt. The measure was received with 
consternation and alarm even by the best friends of the new Republican 
administration, but it became a law February 25, 1862, notwithstanding the 
opposition of such Republicans as Justin S. Morrill, Roscoe Conkling and 
William Pitt Fessenden, and of the entire Democratic party. The notes became 
known as legal tenders or greenbacks. No time for their redemption was fixed, 
but they were convertible at par into six per cent, gold-bearing interest bonds, 
authorized by the same act. Before their issue the banks had suspended pay- 
ment of specie for notes and the new bills soon became the standard of values 
as well as the unit of accounts. The courts held their issue constitutional and 
their tender sufficient for the payment of even a pre-existing obligation calling 
for dollars, though only specie dollars existed when the contract was made. 
Their convertibility into bonds, as stated, checked somewhat their immediate 
depreciation, but new issues followed, and when in 1863 the right to convert 
them into interest-bearing bonds ceased, the notes were worth in coin only 
sixty-five. Their limit of issue was fixed at $450,000,000 ; that of fractional 
pieces convertible into legal tenders at $50,000,000. 

Another new form of paper issues was also authorized. In 1863 an act 
was passed by the central government, supplemented by another act in 1864, 
under which banks might be organized, and upon furnishing the Treasurer of 
the United States with bonds of the Government to a limited extent they would 
be entitled to receive therefor circulating notes equal in amount to ninety per 
cent, of the bonds furnished. A tax of ten per cent, per annum was subse- 
quently imposed upon the issues of the State banks, to take effect July i, 1865, 
avowedly for the purpose of driving them from circulation. 

These notes were receivable for government dues to the same e.xtent as 
the legal tenders, into which they were convertible at par. Consequently these 
two classes of notes maintained a uniformity of value, though much below that 


of specie, and fluctuating daily in comparison with that standard, destroyed all 
stability in values, stimulating speculation, not only in gold itself, but in stocks, 
cotton, grain, and other farm products, until the machinery of exchange was 
little better than a wheel of fortune. 

Certain interest-bearing obligations of the Government were also made 
legal tender, and their use as a bank reserve liberated to that extent an equal 
amount of the legal tenders for circulation, thus further inflating the already 
excessive issues. 

In 1865, at the close of the rebellion, there were outstanding, of all paper 
issues, $983,000,000, having a coin value of ;^692,ooo,ooo, gold being worth in 
paper about 141. At the instance of Hon. Hugh McCulloch, then Secretary 
of the Treasury, Congress, in April, 1866, authorized the retirement of $10,000,- 
000 of legal tenders within six months, and thereafter not more than $4,000,000 
per month. By force of taxation the State issues disappeared, and the interest- 
bearing obligations as they matured were converted into long-time bonds. 

These steps tended to reduce the volume of paper circulation, notwith- 
standing the increase of national bank issues, but on June 30, 1866, gold was 
quoted at 150. The aggregate circulation, however, continued to gradually 
diminish in amount, and in March, 1869, the question having arisen as to the 
currency in which the bonds and notes were payable, the faith of the Nation 
was pledged to pay all interest-bearing obligations in coin, unless by the terms 
of their issue it had been expressly provided that they might be paid in lawful 
money, and also that at the earliest practicable date the legal tender notes 
should be paid in coin. Still, on June 30, 1869, there was outstanding of paper 
issues $756,000,000, the authority for further retirement of the legal tenders 
having been suspended in 1868, leaving these notes in circulation, $356,000,000. 
Gold was then quoted at 137. In the fall of 1874 a stringency in the money 
market, caused by the financial panic of the previous year, led to the reissue 
of these notes to $383,000,000, which amount was fixed by law as their limit. 
To Congress the country now turned for relief from the long unsettled value 
of its currency. An act, therefore, prepared by a caucus of Republican 
Senators, of which Hon. John Sherman was Chairman, passed both Houses as 
a strictly party measure, and was approved January 14, 1875. 

It provided for the coinage of fractional silver coins and the redemption 
therein of the fractional notes, for the unlimited circulation of National Bank 
notes, and for the retirement of legal tenders to the extent of eighty per cent, 
of any such increase, until only $300,000,000 should remain in circulation, and 
for the redemption of the notes in coin at the Sub-Treasury in New York, on 
and after January i, 1879. 

To carry into effect these provisions, the Secretary of the Treasury was 
authorized to use any available cash in the Treasury and to issue at par any of 


the bonds authorized by the refunding acts of 1870 and 1871, and to apply the 
proceeds to the purpose of such redemption. 

For several years the expediency of retaining these notes as part of the 
permanent circulation of the country had been much discussed, and upon the 
question as to their disposition after redemption no unanimity of views vv'as 
reached in the caucus framing the measure, so the matter was purposely left 
open for future legislation. 

In March, 1877, Mr. Sherman, to whom had been intrusted the explanation 
and advocacy of the bill in the Senate, was called to the Treasury. He found 
the fractional notes had been largely redeemed in silver, and that the retirement 
of the legal tenders consequent upon the increase of the bank circulation was 
in satisfactory progress, but that no coin had been accumulated with which to 
redeem the notes on January i, 1879. Gold was quoted at 106. 

Through an arrangement with certain bankers who were then purchasing 
the Government bonds for refunding, the Secretary promptly sold for resumption 
^15,000,000 of four and one-half per cent, bonds at par, and later in the sum- 
mer ^25,000,000 additional of four per cents, at par, the first issue of bonds since 
the war bearing so low a rate of interest. But a series of adverse circumstances 
operated against additional sales of these bonds, and all further steps toward secur- 
ing a fund for resumption were suspended. Gold was now at 103. The continual 
advance in the value of the money standard had embarrassed to a certain 
extent the debtor class, and an outcry against a further enhancement of its value 
was very pronounced. Upon the assembling of Congress in December, thirteen 
bills were introduced the first day for the repeal of the resumption act, and one 
of them passed the House and lacked but two votes of passing the Senate. In 
every direction the outlook was discouraging for the friends of the measure, 
but the Secretary' announced to Congress and the country that unless the law 
was repealed he should certainly comply with its provisions and redeem the 
notes as required by law, on and after January i, 1879. The law was not 
repealed, but an act was passed forbidding the retirement of the notes beyond 
the existing amount, $346,681,016, and requiring their reissue after redemption, 
thus settling a much debated policy. 

In April, 1878, the Secretary went to New York and sold $50,000,000 of 
four and one-half per cents, at loi net, thus securing in all $90,500,000 in gold 
coin for redemption. With this, and an estimated amount of about $40,000,000 
surplus cash in the Treasury, he believed he could easily redeem all the notes 
presented for that purpose. Notwithstanding the ample preparations, the 
premium on gold did not disappear until December 15th. The ist day of 
January was Sunday, and no business was transacted. On the following day 
no little anxiety was felt at the Treasury, but in the evening came a dispatch 
showing more gold for notes than notes for gold had been presented. The 


crisis had passed and resumption was accomplished. An era of enterprise and 
prosperity set in, unparalleled in modern history. Within the next ten years 
following the taxable wealth of the country increased about ^780,000,000, an 
amount considerably greater than the total of such wealth in 1850, as shown 
by the returns of the Seventh Census. 

The issue limit of these notes still remains unchanged, the redeemability 
of them in coin unquestioned, and the resumption fund untouched. Meanwhile 
the issues of the national banks have been greatly reduced, the high price of 
the collateral bonds rendering their continuance unprofitable to the banks. 

The experiment of maintaining at par an issue of Government notes, based 
upon a reasonable reserve in specie and further secured by a pledge of the faith 
of the Nation, has proved a success in furnishing a part of the currency of the 
country. The plan will likely attract attention throughout the civilized world, 
for the circulation of no country is upon an entirely satisfactory basis. At 
present a no more economical or satisfactory form of currency exists than these 
notes of the United States. Deprived of their legal-tender quality when not 
redeemable at par with coin, as are the bank notes of England, which quality 
alone can ever make them harmful, but which may prove useful as long as their 
redeemability is maintained, the notes which have already survived the exigencies 
that brought them into existence may prove the money of the future. 


The above article was prepared by Mr. Upton upon the recommendation 
of Senator John Sherman, whose hand has shaped the financial legisladon of the 
country for the last quarter of a century, and upon its being submitted to him 
he stated that he found it very interesting and deserving of wide circulation, as 
no other measure before Congress could compare with that of the currency in 
its effects upon the business interests of the country ; that it affected every man, 
woman, and child in our broad land, the rich with his investments, the poor with 
his labor. 

At the same time he made the following statement of his views as to the 
future currency of the country. 

The employment of either silver or gold for general purposes of circu- 
lation is growing relatively less every year, in all civilized nations. The use 
of checks in transferring credits from one party to another, the employment 
of clearing-houses in commercial centres to offset the checks against each 
other, to save the labor and risk of individual collections, and lastly, the 
employment of paper notes payable on demand in specie, in lieu of actual 


specie itself, are modern inventions for facilitating exchanges, and they are 
the greatest labor-saving machines ever brought to human aid. Their use is 
not yet fully understood or appreciated, but they are rapidly revolutionizing 
all methods of exchanges, and this country cannot refuse to recognize their 
superiority over the clumsy machinery of the last century. The expansion 
of the use of checks and clearing-houses may be left to the education which 
our rapidly increasing commerce affords. As to the issue of paper notes, 
it is generally admitted that the metals should be supplemented by some 
kind of credit money, to avoid absorbing too much of the actual wealth of 
the country in the machinery of circulation, and the question arises, under 
what authority, in what manner, and to what extent these issues shall be 

The commerce between the several States is of enormous and unrestricted 
amount, and demands the issue to be uniform in value throughout the country. 
The policy of removing the tax upon the issue of State banks, and allowing 
variegated bills of that character, at best never at par, except in the immediate 
vicinity of their issue, to again flood the country, meets with little favor in 
any section. There is, also, a general feeling that when the option on the 
four per cent, bonds expires, the Government should not issue in their place 
bonds of a lower rate on which national banks may continue their circulation. 

If there is any gain in issuing notes, there is a demand, not without justice, 
that it should be shared in by all the citizens of the Republic, not exclusively by 
the holders of State or National bank stocks. 

To purchase gold or silver bullion and to issue certificates thereon, dollar 
for dollar, would not obviate the great objection to a large part of the present 
circulation, viz.: the useless storing away of too much of the wealth of the 
country in the vaults of the Treasury, a policy, however safe it may be, which is 
expensive, as taking out of productive enterprises a needless amount of capital. 

The employment of the greenback currency as part of the paper currency 
since 1879, based upon about thirty per cent, of gold coin or bullion, and the 
pledge of the faith of the nation to its maintenance at par, has proved satisfactory 
and economical. By its issue the Government has had the use of ^246,000,000, 
the excess of the issue over the reserve, for thirteen years, with no charge except 
the insignificant appropriation for the manufacture of new notes to take the 
place of those worn or mutilated. Had the greenbacks been converted at that 
time into four per cent, bonds and other forms of currency substituted as 
demanded by many high in authority, the Government would already have paid 
on such bonds to date about $125,000,000 in interest. At present there is 
outstanding of silver certificates. Treasury notes, gold certificates, and national 
bank notes ^^770, 000,000, and the query arises, why cannot the issue of the green- 
backs be gradually extended so as to take the place of these issues, a reserve 


in specie to be maintained equal to ^ of the entire paper circulation, and the 
faith of the nation to be pledged to keep the notes at par by the sale of bonds, 
the proceeds to be applied to such maintenance whenever necessary. For 
thirteen years greenbacks have maintained a specie value, nobody desiring 
coin for the notes as soon as it was known it could be had upon demand, and 
there is no reason to suppose that a parity of value cannot be maintained for all 
the paper circulation, though sustained in part only by the pledged faith of the 
nation. The amount of circulation needed can be determined only by the 
necessities of business, but with the privileges of redemption at sight an over 
issue of paper would not long remain. 

The metallic reserve might with safety consist of one-half of gold and 
one-half of silver, the latter at its market value, and the notes be redeemed 
either in gold or its equivalent in silver, under such regulations as may be 
deemed necessary to keep them at par and to give no advantage to either 

Any loss the Government might sustain therefrom by a depreciation in 
the value of either metal would probably be made more than good from the 
profit in issuing the remaining one-third part of the notes upon the credit of 
the country as represented by bonds, of which the Secretary should have 
unquestioned power to sell a sufficient amount at his discretion. 

A circulation issued by the General Government and thus secured 
would be uniform in value throughout the country ; its notes, alike in design, 
would soon become well known and much preferred to the many kinds now 
in circulation, of which each has a different appearance, a different basis of 
redemption, and of debt-paying power. Such a policy is nothing new. It is 
only the extension of one already tried and which has proved successful, and 
which can be easily expanded to afford all the circulation which the rapidly 
growing needs of the country may require. 





Author of Life of Sumner, etc. 

X HE Government of the United States is unique in three respects : 
*'^v It is the largest and most successful democracy that has ever 
existed, it is a federal system, and it has a written Constitu- 
tion. Perhaps it may be called unique in its methods also, for 
no other government is made up of three separate and yet equal 
branches, each in some sense the Government, but all neces- 
sary to any complete action of the nation ; and still again those 
departments, the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judiciary, have each their 
own peculiar and distinctive features. Legislation is representative and not 
democratic. The Executive has not only the duty of executing the laws, 
but a power of veto over them, and the Supreme Court stands alone in all the 
world in its place and importance. 

The Government of the United States, in the expressive phrase of Abraham 
Lincoln, is "A government by the people, of the people, and for the people." 
It is this which is the great glory of our nation, and it must not be forgotten in 
comparing it with others. It is often claimed that England is more democratic 
in fact, Germany more attentive to the needs of the people ; but these advan- 
tages ignore the great fundamental distinction of this republic, the fact that all 
power is derived from the people. Briton and Germany alike hold that power 
comes from the throne and its reserved rights remain with the throne. But 
every American believes that power comes from the people, the Executive is 
in some sense an agent, and the reserved rights remain with the people. The 
difference is not only fundamental, but there result from it doctrines and relations 
which run through all our system and our methods as well. No amount of super- 
ficial flexibility, as in England, or of temporary advantage, as in Germany, can at 
all compensate for this great and far-reaching distinction, this confidence in and 
dependence upon the people. Again, we have two kinds of law — that made by 
Congress as the needs of the time require, law which may be altered according to 



occasion, and the great permanent Constitution, which only the people and the 
States acting together can alter, and that after long and careful process, and to 
which all other law must conform. This Constitution is truly enough the 
bulwark of our liberties ; no sudden whims or changing passions can deprive us 
of the fundamental rights guaranteed by it ; the storm of battle has proved it 
strong enough to stand against all assaults, and the stress of unequaled growth 
has shown it broad enough for all demands. It seems, indeed, as if a superhuman 
wisdom was given to the forefathers. Molded by Hamilton, and Franklin, and 
the Adamses, and Madison, and Ellsworth, and many another great man, it 
drew its inspiration from French philosophers and Dutch methods, and the 
mingled love and hate for English practice. The government of a little Baptist 
church in Pennsylvania, and the Connecticut town-meeting, and the conflicting 
interests of different sections, and many other elements entered in to make 
this great instrument what it is. Under it we have lived for one hundred years, 
and have stretched our boundaries from one ocean to the other, from the 
frozen seas of the Arctic Circle to the tropical waters of the Gulf We have 
endured three wars, and are grown so strong that the great governments of 
Europe hesitate to encounter us, and sit by our side in equal honor ; we have be- 
come sixty million people, and our riches are matched with imperial treasuries, but 
our doors are ever open to the laborer and we give him all opportunity, until 
he shall stand at the top if it pleases him. Side by side the rich and the poor, 
the learned and the unlearned, the chief among us and the least of all, hold the 
great gift of governing, and we count them each a man ; and the whole great 
and glorious structure rests on the firm and enduring rock of the Constitution. 

The Government is carried on, according to the terms of this Constitution 
and under its provisions, by three great branches : Congress, which makes the 
laws ; the Judiciary, which interprets these laws and decides whether they agree 
with the Constitution ; and the Executive, which carries them out. And since 
this is a government of the people. Congress, which represents the people and 
expresses their will, is the centre around which the whole government turns. 

Congress is composed of two houses, the House of Representatives and 
the Senate. The House of Representatives is elected every two years, and 
each member of it represents somewhat more than 150,000 people. Each 
State sends as many Congressmen as are necessary to represent its whole 
population, being divided into districts containing each a population of 150,000, 
from among which the members of Congress are chosen. The requirement 
that the representadve shall live within the State is an important distincdon 
between our system and that of England. An English district or borough may 
elect a member of Parliament from any part of the nation, and thus it is believed 
the House of Commons will be composed of the best men in the country ; but 
it is our purpose to have every part of the country represented, and, therefore, 



by an unwritten law, never disregarded, we require that each Congressman shall 
reside in the district which chooses him. Thus, so far as possible, every man in 
the country is represented. It must always be remembered, however, that the 
government of the United States is not a pure democracy, but a republic. It 
is first and foremost a represe7itative government. In every possible way 
endeavor is made that each man shall be represented, but he must act through 
a representative. The short term of service insures that these representatives 
shall reflect the changing will of the people, and furnishes a remedy for all 
unjust or foolish action. He shows an entire ignorance of our system who 
complains of the tyranny of government in the United States. The House 
of Representatives is its chief governing power, and, remade as it is by the 
people themselves once in two years, it is constantly controlled by the will of 
the people. , 

This very fact, the fact that the House of 
Representatives can be altered so readily, and 
always will reflect every passing change of 
public sentiment, made it necessary and highly 
desirable to add some more permanent element 
to Congress. For this, among other reasons, 
a Senate was created. Senators are elected 
once in six years, and represent the people of 
a whole State. Thus, because he is more 
permanent, and because he is chosen by a 
larger constituency, a senator represents the 
more stable elements of political thought, not 
so much the passing feeling of the moment, 
but the deep underlying opinions and wishes 

of a large number of people. Moreover, as the Senate is so arranged that 
only one senator from a State is elected at a time, and only one-third of 
the senators go out of office on any given year, it becomes in some sense a 
stable body, and acts as a check upon the excitements and lack of wisdom 
natural to such a body as the House. 

Still another reason, and that of great importance, marks the value of the 
Senate to the people. It is, in fact, more necessary to the preservation of our 
system than the House itself The senators represent the States directly, 
and each State has two senators, no more and no less. This places each State 
on an equal footing with every other, a result obviously an important element 
in our political system, and of the greatest practical importance to our liberties. 
By reason of this provision in our Constitution, Delaware or Rhode Island are 
of equal power in the Senate with Texas or New York, furnishing a check 
upon the unregulated control of any one section. If the Senate, like the House, 



represented the population and not the States, shortly enough Congress would 
be controlled by the great cities, or, perhaps, by the great States. The tyranny 
of New York or Chicago would be replaced by the tyranny of California or 
Texas. The immense mass of their people would always control the country, 
and we should be at the mercy of a practical monarchy. The equal power of 
the small States in the Senate goes far to prevent this result and to preserve 
the rule of the whole people, an actual as well as a nominal democracy. The 
Senate is altogether necessary to the coufitry, and he is a false friend who 
would persuade the country to undermine it or destroy its relations to the 
States by making it a popular body. So thoroughly was this understood by 
the men who made the Constitution that a unique provision was inserted forbid- 
ding any amendment which should deprive the States of their equal representa- 
tion in the Senate without their own consent, practically a prohibition of such 
an amendment. 

Congress has power to raise funds for our necessities by taxes, to borrow 
money, if necessary, to establish postal facilities, to coin or print our money, 
to regulate our foreign affairs, to make war, to control many other matters, and 
to make all the laws relative to these concerns. 

It requires both houses of Congress to pass the laws that govern us. A 
bill originates in the House or the Senate, according to its nature, is debated 
and passed by that body, sent to the other, debated and passed by that, and 
then sent to the President, who signs it, and thereby it becomes a law. If any 
of these conditions fail it falls to the ground. Either branch can refuse to pass 
a measure, and the President may refuse to sign, or veto it. But in this latter 
case, since the will of the people is the supreme power, the vetoed bill may be 
passed again, over the head of the President, as the phrase goes, if two-thirds of 
each house of Congress can be thereafter induced to vote for it. All bills for fur- 
nishing money must originate in the House of Representatives, that the people, by 
controlling the purse strings, may still more thoroughly control the Government. 
The Senate, on the other hand, has the power to consider and pass upon our 
treaties, and has also the duty of confirming or refusing all appointments of any 

The officers of the House of Representatives are a Speaker, elected from 
among its members, who presides over its deliberations, a Clerk, a Sergeant-at- 
Arms, a Doorkeeper, and several smaller officers necessary to carry on its 
business. The Senate is presided over by the Vice-President of the United 
States, and in his absence by one of the senators, chosen by themselves for 
that duty, and known as the President pro tempore. This body has also a Clerk 
and Sergeantat-Arms and minor officials. The business of Congress is largely 
done by its committees, which consider all important subjects before they are 
brought to the attention of either house. These committees are appointed by 



the Speaker in the House of Representatives, and in the Senate are selected by 
a committee of the senators. Each Congress lasts for two years, although not 
in session all of the time. Congress meets in the Capitol at Washington on the 
first Monday in December of every year. The first year the session lasts until 
both houses can agree to adjourn, thus giving time for free and ample discus- 
sion of every subject. These "long sessions" usually continue until July or 
August, and sometimes until October. On the alternate years Congress is 
directed by the Constitution to adjourn on the fourth day of March, thus pre- 


venting the attempt to make any one Congress permanent. All Congressmen 
are paid a salary, in order that poor men may have an equal chance with the 
rich. This salary is ^5000 for both senators and representatives, except in the 
case of the Speaker and President of the Senate, who each of them receive 
$8000. No religious tests are allowed, and any man may belong to either house 
who is a citizen of the United States, who resides in the State which elects him, 
and who is of suitable age, twenty-five years in the House and thirty years 
in the Senate. 

When the laws are made they must be carried out ; and this is the busi- 



ness of the Executive department of the Government, a co-equal branch with 
the Legislative department. The President is the chief executive officer of the 
nation, and as such is properly the chief personage and principal officer in the 
land. It is no mistake to style him the " chief ruler" of the United States, for, 
although the people are our only rulers, they do this ruling through and by 
means of the President and Congress, and thus depute him to rule over them 
for the time being. The President is only in a limited sense the agent of the 
people, but he is their chosen, although temporary, ruler, who is to carr)' out 
their laws. 

The President and Vice-President are chosen once in four years and elected 


by the people, who vote by States and not directly as a nation. The citizens of 
each State vote for a body of men called electors, equal in number to their 
Congressmen, who in turn choose the President a few weeks later. As a matter 
of fact, their choice is always known beforehand, as they are elected on the dis- 
tinct understanding of their preference. Although the method is somewhat 
clumsy, the principle is most necessary. In all our affairs, so far as possible, we 
must continue to act by States. It is only thus that our federal system can be 
preserved, and in that lies our safety and success. 

The qualifications for President are that he shall be a native-born Ameri- 
can, who has resided in the country for fourteen years, and who is thirty-five 



years old. He is inaugurated with much pomp and ceremony on the fourth of 
March, every four years, and resides at the Executive Mansion, or White 
House, in Washington, during his term of office. He is paid a salary of 
$50,000, that he may keep up a suitable state and dignity as our chief ruler. 
If he is guilty of treason, or other "high crimes and misdemeanors," of such 
importance that his continuance in office is dangerous to our liberties, he may 
be impeached by the House of Representatives, tried by the Senate, and, if 
found guilty, deposed, in which case his office would fall to the Vice-President. 
An effort was made to impeach President Johnson in 1866, but there being no 
adequate ground for such action, he was acquitted. 


The duties of the Executive department are mostly connected with the 
administration of the laws. The President is Commander-in-Chief of the Army 
and Navy, and he also represents the nation in matters connected with foreign 
governments. To that end he sends out foreign ministers to other govern- 
ments, and consuls, to conduct our business affairs in foreign ports. A large 
body of foreign ministers sent from other countries for a similar purpose reside 
at Washing-ton, and throughout our cities are scattered foreign consuls for the 
transaction of commercial business. 

The President is assisted in his duties by a body of advisers, known as the 


Cabinet. This consists of eight officers of great importance, of his own selec- 
tion and appointment, each of whom has control of affairs of the Government 
in his particular department. The Secretary of State conducts oui foreign rela- 
tions ; the Secretary of the Treasury our financial affairs ; the Secretary of War 
is over our armies ; the Attorney General is the law officer of the Government ; 
the Postmaster General superintends the postal service ; the Secretary of the 
Navy commands our navy ; the Secretary of the Interior is concerned with 
patents, the Indians, the public lands, and many other important matters ; and 
the Secretary of Agriculture promotes the farming interests of the country. 
Each of these Secretaries has his office in Washington, where he attends to the 
enormous business of his department. Under him are an immense number of 
officers and clerks, all appointed either by the President or the head of the 
department, to carry on the business of Government. Each department is 
divided into bureaus, and much of the work is of the highest value and 

In case of the death or inability of the President, the duties of his office 
devolve upon the Vice-President, and after him would fall to the Cabinet succes- 
sively, in the order already named. But should any member of the Cabinet be 
obliged to take this office, he would fill it only until a new election could be held. 

We have had a long and remarkable list of Presidents, beginning with 
George Washington himself There have been in all twenty-three different Presi- 
dents, by a curious coincidence covering twenty-four terms, and distributed 
among various political parties. Many of them were men of extraordinary 
ability. They have been strangely representative, some, like Washington and the 
Adamses being men of the aristocratic class, while others, like Jackson, and Lin- 
coln, and Garfield, were proud of their origin from among the poorest of the 
people. Twice the descendant of a President has filled that high place — John 
Quincy Adams being the son of John Adams, and Benjamin Harrison the grand- 
son of Wm. Henry Harrison. Two Presidents have brought beautiful and charm- 
ing brides to the White House during their term of office — President Tyler, who 
married Miss Julia Gardner, and President Cleveland, who married Miss Frances 
Folsom. Many times the people have delighted to honor the heroes of our 
wars. As one epoch after another passed in our history the laurels of war were 
placed upon the heads of Washington, of Andrew Jackson, of Wm. Henry 1 

Harrison, of Taylor, of Grant, and Hayes, and Garfield, and the second Harrison. 
Many different States have claimed the honor of the Presidency, but we have 
never yet had an Executive from the great Western States. Several Presidents 
have been re-elected, but by an unwritten law no man ever serves but two 
terms. Four have died in office, two of them, Lincoln and Garfield, having been 
assassinated. There have been many great men and many wise men in this 
office, but among them all there are three who stand out beyond their fellows, 



creators of history — George Washington, who founded the Republic ; Abraham 
Lincoln, the greatest of all our great men in any time, and Ulysses S. Grant, 
the chief amonor our o-enerals. 

An elaborate system of courts make up our national judiciary, and secure 
to the citizens protection and justice. In some respects the most extraordinary 
feature of our Government is the Supreme Court, which is unique in its power 
and importance. It is the business of this tribunal to construe the laws, to 
decide whether they agree with the Constitution, to settle any question as to 


whether the Constitution has been violated in deed, to decide upon suits 
between the States and the nation, and to determine legal questions between 
this and other countries. It is co-ordinate with Congress and the Executive, 
and yet the highest power in the land, for both bow to its decisions. Law and 
justice are preserved in its keeping, lest either of the other two great branches 
of the Government usurp the power, or transcend the Constitution. Any law 
the constitutionality of which is questioned, may be brought before this court, 
and its decision is final, confirming it against all opposition, or making it null 


and void, and thus of no effect whatever. This court consists of nine judges, or 
justices as they are called, appointed for life or good behavior, by the President, 
and confirmed by the Senate. They are paid $10,000 a year, with a pension 
after they become too old for longer service. The head of the court, or the 
Chief lustice, administers the oath to the President on his inauo-uration, and 
many times stands next him in rank and position. Certainly no nobler illus- 
tration of the might and majesty of law can be given than this court, adjusting 
the affairs of the nation itself to which President and people alike bow, in 
token that righteousness and justice are greater than power. 

No account of our Government would be in any sense complete, nor 
indeed would it be intelligible, that did not take into account our Federal system. 
The whole country is divided into States, and each State is a separate and dis- 
tinct government, having control of its local affairs, and responsible to its own 
people. In all those larger affairs which concern the whole country, it joins 
with its fellows in the general Government, but the power of this general 
Government comes from the States. The States are not oriven more or less 
power by the United States, but the States give more or less power to the 
United States and reserve the other rights to themselves. The United States, 
however, has supreme control over all matters relating to the nation, and will 
not allow any State to infringe upon the rights or jeopardize the safety of any 
other. For that reason it will not permit any State or States to secede, because 
the cooperation of them all is necessary to the safety of the Union. We are 
States united into a nation, but we are a nation, one and indissoluble. 

The history of the country makes plain these relations. Thirteen colonies, 
settled by different peoples of different origins and for widely different reasons, 
joined each other for the sake of common safety and national prosperity. 
Practical necessity and political wisdom alike dictated that local affairs should 
continue under the control of each colony or State, while matters of general 
interest were decided by the whole acting together. To this end each colony 
gave up to the nation its general rights but reserved the power over its internal 
affairs. It is this federal system which makes it possible for a democratic 
government to rule such an immense country, and it is only this. Therefore, 
while we are careful to retain the supreme control to the general Government, 
we must more and more relegate sectional concerns, however large and import- 
ant, to the States ; and we must guard against the centralizing of our affairs in 
the hands of the national Government, however much to our temporary advan- 
tage it may be. In the nature of the case we cannot govern territory of such 
enormous extent, with so various a population and such varying interest, by 
democratic methods unless we keep strictly to the federal idea. It is our only 

Each State has a Governor, Legislature, and Supreme Court of its own ; 


the Governor, Legislature, and, in some States, the Supreme Court, being 
elected by its own people. Different States require different qualifications in 
their voters ; in some a man must be able to read and write ; in some be pos- 
sessed of certain property ; in one there is no distinction between men and 
women ; and various other requirements are found in the different States. 
Whatever makes a man a voter in his own State allows him to vote in that State 
in national elections also. 

The term of office of State officers varies greatly, some States holding their 
Legislatures annually, and some biennially ; some Governors being elected for 
one year and some for longer terms. In all these, its own affairs, the State is 
supreme. Each has its own courts, under its Supreme Court, for the further- 
ance of justice. Local affairs also are very variously administered, by townships, 
counties, parishes, and other subdivisions, many of them very ancient, and in 
like manner cities are governed in different ways. All this diversity in unity 
serves to make one homogeneous nation of this heterogeneous multitude of sixty 
million people. 

The original thirteen .States, little as they dreamed of the great territory over 
which the flag of the United States floats so proudly to-day, had no narrow idea 
of a nation, and provided for its expansion even better than they knew. The 
common land belonging to the nation, and as yet largely unsettled, is held by 
the common Government, in Territories. These are governed by officers 
appointed by tlie President, and are subject to United States laws only. Their 
own Legislatures arrange their local affairs, and each sends a delegate to Con- 
gress to look after its interests, but the law does not allow him to vote. As 
soon as any Territory contains a population large enough. Congress admits it 
to the Union as a State, with all the rights and privileges of its older sisters, 
the President proclaims that fact to the world, and a new commonwealth is 
added to the sisterhood, marked by the new star in the flag we honor. Thus 
one after another we have already seen thirty-one new States added to that 
little band of thirteen, some of them great and rich realms many times as large 
as the whole nation at its beeinnine. 

c> o 

The United States is indeed a land of the free, and its great written charter, 
the Constitution, itself protects the freedom of her citizens. The right to wor- 
ship God as he will, the right to assemble when and where he will, freedom of 
speech and press, and of petition, the right to keep and bear arms — all these 
great gifts the United States gives to every person in all her broad borders. Nor 
is this enough ; she preserves his house inviolate from search and seizure, and 
everywhere in all his relations throws the shield of the law over his person and 
possessions. If indeed he be accused of crime, she makes certain that he shall 
have justice, for by the right to a trial by jury and by many other careful provisions 
she protects both his person and property, and in the last and greatest articles 



of her great Magna Charta — articles for which she spent blood and treasure 
beyond the telling — she forbids all slavery within all her borders, and guarantees 
to every citizen his right to vote without regard to "race, color, or previous 
condition of servitude." For this is the duty which the United States asks of 
every man-child within her borders, to help her govern herself This is his 
proud privilege — to choose her officers, to control her policy, to sustain her 
laws, and through his representatives to make them ; to develop the Nation, and 
govern her. This is what it is to vote in the United States of America. 





HEN the office of President was to be filled for the first time, 
grave problems were to be solved. The hardship and 
suffering of the struggle for independence were yet present 
in the minds of all men ; the weakness and failure of the 
Government instituted by the Articles of Confederation had 
compelled an attempt "to form a more perfect Union;" 
the eyes of the civilized world were upon the struggling 
people, and to men who had not an abiding faith in the prin- 
ciples for which the battles of the Revolution had been 
fought, it seemed that the experiment of popular Government was to end in 
early, complete, and appropriate catastrophe. 

In such circumstances it was well that the public needs were so great and 
so immediate as to make men willing to forget their diff"erences and consider 
measures for the common good ; and particularly was it well for the future of 
our country, that there was one man upon whom all could agree as uniting the 
wisdom, the moderation, the e.xperience, the dignity necessary to the first 
President of the United States. 

George Washington was the only man ever unanimously elected President. 
Of his personal history and of his character, enough has been said in another 
place. He undertook the duties of the Chief Magistracy with a deep sense of 
their importance, and their difficulty, but with the courage and devotion which 
characterized all his conduct. He selected for his Cabinet men of widely 
different political views, but men whose names were not new to Americans, men 
whose past services justified the belief that they would find means of leading 
the country out of its present difficulties, and of setting the affairs of the 
Government on a sure foundation. Jefferson, Hamilton, Knox and Randolph, 
might well be trusted to concert wise measures. 

Washington's second election was, like the first, without opposition, and for 
four years more he continued to guide the affairs of State. A national bank had 
been established early in his first term, and also the Philadelphia Mint, and the 
currency of the country was now on a fairly satisfactory basis ; a census had 




Two 'lerm^, lySq-lTaT. 


been taken in 1 790 and showed that the country had already begun to grow in 
population, and the outlook was much more favorable than four years earlier. 

Upon the announcement of Washington's retirement, the two parties, 
which had been gradually developing an organization, prepared to contest the 
election of the second President. The Federalists, who advocated a strong 
central Government, favored John Adams, and the Republicans, who " claimed 
to be the friends of liberty and the rights of man, the advocates of economy, and 
of the rights of the States," desired the election of Thomas Jefferson. The 
Federalists were in a slight majority, and Mr. Adams was elected. He was a 
native of Massachusetts, and had borne a leading part in the struggle for 
independence and the development of the Government. He was one of the 
leaders in Massachusetts in resisting the oppressive measures which brought 
on the Revolution ; he seconded the resolution for the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence, and assisted in framing that remarkable document ; with Franklin and 
Jay, he negotiated the treaty which established our independence ; he had 
represented his country as Minister to France, and to Holland, and was the 
first United States Minister to England ; he had been Vice President during 
Washington's two administrations, and was now to assume office as the second 

His Presidency opened with every prospect of war with the French. That 
nation had taken offense because we preserved an attitude of neutrality in their 
contest with Great Britian. They actually began war by capturing our merchant 
ships, and the French Directory refused to receive the new United States 
Minister, while three commissioners, who were sent to make one more effort for 
peace, were insulted. Under the influence of the war spirit thus excited, the 
Federalists in Congress passed two acts, known as the Alien and Sedition Laws, 
which resulted in the downfall of their party. The former gave the President 
authority to order out of the country any alien whom he considered dangerous 
to its welfare, and the latter was intended to suppress conspiracies and malicious 
abuse of the government. They excited great opposition and were almost 
immediately repealed. The war had already been terminated on the accession 
of Napoleon Bonaparte to power in France. 

Mr. Adams failed of re-election, largely because of the division of sentiment 
in regard to the French war. His great patriotism, high moral courage, and his 
ability as a statesman, were somewhat marred by a strange lack of tact, and a 
stupendous vanity, which sometimes made him ridiculous, but his countrymen 
could well afford to forget such minor faults, and remember only his manifold 
services in their common cause. He was succeeded by a man no less great. 
Thomas Jefferson was the son of a Virginia planter, received his education at 
William and Mary College, studied law and engaged in its practice. He resolved, 
on entering public life, never to engage, while in public office, in any kind of